Both Sides Now

Every once in a while, I offer a song from my past–a long distance request and dedication to my family.

I first heard this song on a music box my mother gave me. She gave my two sisters and me a music box for every birthday growing up. What interested me more than the figures on top (like unicorns or little girls with umbrellas) was the music itself. I would open up the box and watch the small spindles going around as the music played. I would pluck them and hold them close to my ear to absorb the sounds. The boxes were my music even before radio. One of them played “Fly Me to The Moon” very slowly, so I thought that it was a heartbreaking song until I heard Sinatra sing it up tempo.

The song I loved most was Both Sides Now, although I didn’t know the title at the time. The composer would become one of my favorite singers and songwriters. Mitchell’s lyricism and music is one of a kind. This song brings me back to Illinois, to our first home where I would sit on my bed with this music box on my lap. Now that I am old enough to understand the lyrics, it holds a new meaning. I have grown into it.

What song will always remind you of home?



Filed under Music

8 responses to “Both Sides Now

  1. jill

    i wish i had just one, but, for me its anything by the beatles or crosby, stills, nash and young. my mom always told me her generation’s music was much better than mine. i agree.

    Those musicians were important to my parents too. Have you heard the CSNY song “Helplessly Hoping”? It’s one of my favorite songs.

  2. Tee

    Man, I loved this one. At 13 I danced and pranced in my room (as much as somebody like me, all muddy and cut-offs, could) and sang my heart out.

  3. jill

    i do like that song. i think may fave may be suite judy blue eyes.

  4. Mom

    Reading your blog made me want to cry. I do miss you and your long pigtails!! Let us know exactly when you’ll be “home”.

    Love you mom! 🙂

  5. How much longer are you there?

    We’ll be in Buenos Aires for two more weeks, but we have a surprise location we’re moving to for a month!

  6. My mom was in love with Elvis. Growing up in communist Poland, it was rare to hear anything outside of the farmtown folk, so Elvis was more of just music for her; he was a symbol of change and freedom.

    After she married, moved to America, and had us kids, she grew us up on Elvis. Every Saturday morning was cleaning time, and we rocked out to “Jailhouse Rock”, “CC Rider” and “Bossa Nova Baby”. My mom had a hard life, and now suffers from depression. Whenever I head an Elvis song or see his image, I immediately am taken back to times when my mom was smiling and happy.

    Thanks for the great post; it made me think of happy times. 🙂

    Thanks for your memory! 🙂

  7. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. Reminds me of my favorite tree in our backyard. I could spend hours underneath the branches, listening to that song on my battery-powered radio.

    That is evocative of childhood. I miss the radio!

  8. Pingback: Things to Come « Still Life in South America

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