Joni Mitchell: River

Quiz by Sharon Michiko Yoneda

"It's coming on Christmas; they're cutting down trees."

  "Putting up reindeer"

"Oh I wish I had a river; I could skate away on."

artist:  Joni Mitchell

songwriter:  Joni Mitchell

date released:  1971 by Joni Mitchell

*Teachers' alert:  There are a lot of two-word (phrasal verbs) in "River" for listening comprehension.  

Canadian songwriter, Joni Mitchell, wrote "River" for a particularly blue Christmas in her life. She had had a difficult romantic breakup, and in the aftermath, she longed to escape her suffering by "wishing she had a river she could skate away on."  Keeping to the Christmas theme, the song begins with a mournful interpolation of "Jingle Bells," which figures throughout the accompaniment of the song.  "River" was part of the best-selling Blue album, where Mitchell had retreated from the world in the fog of depression.  It is written that she spent this time writing songs in her BC coastal retreat.