It’s Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday! If, like me, you have Blue permanently etched into your skull, you’re probably already listening to it right now. If you do nothing else today, listen to “The Last Time I Saw Richard,” which has some of the most shattering lyrics in all of pop music.
“Richard, you haven’t really changed,” I said,
“It’s just that now you’re romanticizing some pain that’s in your head
You got tombs in your eyes but the songs you punched are dreaming
Listen, they sing of love so sweet, love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet?
Oh, and love can be so sweet, love so sweet”
For my money, it’s a dead heat between this and “Famous Blue Raincoat” for most life-changingly disillusioned songs of the 20th century.