Chelsea Morning
"Chelsea Morning" is a song
In music, a song is a composition for voice or voices, performed by singing.A song may be accompanied by musical instruments, or it may be unaccompanied, as in the case of a cappella songs...

 written by Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, CC is a Canadian musician, singer songwriter, and painter. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan and Western Canada and then busking in the streets and dives of Toronto...

 and introduced on the singer's 1969 album Clouds..

The song was inspired by Mitchell's room in the Chelsea
Chelsea, Manhattan
Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The district's boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south, 30th Street to the north, the western boundary of the Ladies' Mile Historic District – which lies between the Avenue of the Americas and...

 neighborhood of New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

. The inspiration for the first verse comes partly from the distinct décor of her apartment. While in Philadelphia, Mitchell and friends had made a mobile
Mobile (sculpture)
A mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture constructed to take advantage of the principle of equilibrium. It consists of a number of rods, from which weighted objects or further rods hang. The objects hanging from the rods balance each other, so that the rods remain more or less horizontal...

 from shards of colored glass they had found in the street and wire coat hangers, which filtered the light coming into her room through the window and created the "rainbow on the wall". During coffeehouse performances of this song in the late 1960s, Mitchell explained that the famous stained glass was rescued from the salvaged windows of a demolished home for unwed mothers.

The lyrics of this song demonstrate Mitchell's talent with imagery, and her strong use of visual inspiration which come from her background in visual art. "The sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses." Mitchell, in regards to "Chelsea Morning", in 1996 stated, "It was a very young and lovely time ... before I had a record deal. I think it's a very sweet song, but I don't think of it as part of my best work. To me, most of those early songs seem like the work of an ingenue."

"Chelsea Morning" was actually written before the release of Mitchell's 1968 debut album: Song to a Seagull
Song to a Seagull
Song to a Seagull is Joni Mitchell's 1968 debut album. Mitchell would later note that the album is more a result of her love of classical music than of folk, and this is evident through the thick, rich, and often unusual harmonies, and the densely poetic lyrics of the album...

 but Mitchell held off recording the song until preparing her second album Clouds, partly because "Chelsea Morning" had already been recorded by other artists, notably Judy Collins
Judy Collins
Judith Marjorie "Judy" Collins is an American singer and songwriter, known for her eclectic tastes in the material she records ; and for her social activism. She is an alumna of the University of Colorado.-Musical career:Collins was born and raised in Seattle, Washington...

 who'd recorded the song during the 1968 sessions for her album Who Knows Where the Time Goes
Who Knows Where the Time Goes (Judy Collins album)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes is a 1968 album by Judy Collins. It peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts.Produced by David Anderle with numerous well-known musicians including Stephen Stills, the album had a rock-country-arthouse feel, typically eclectic for Collins, and included...

. "Chelsea Morning" did not make the track listing for the last-named album but Collins' version was given a July 1969 single release which was supported mainly by easy listening
Easy listening
Easy listening is a broad style of popular music and radio format that emerged in the 1950s, evolving out of big band music, and related to MOR music as played on many AM radio stations. It encompasses the exotica, beautiful music, light music, lounge music, ambient music, and space age pop genres...

 radio: the track reached #25 on Billboards Easy Listening chart with peripheral Billboard Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

 impact peaking there at #78. "Chelsea Morning" made a belated debut as a Judy Collins album track on the singer's 1971 album release Living. Collins made a new recording of "Chelsea Morning" for her 1999 retrospective double-album release Forever: an Anthology.

Other early versions of "Chelsea Morning" were recorded by British folk-rock group Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention are an English folk rock and later electric folk band, formed in 1967 who are still recording and touring today. They are widely regarded as the most important single group in the English folk rock movement...

 on their eponymous debut album
Fairport Convention (album)
Fairport Convention is Fairport Convention's debut album. The band formed in 1967, with original line-up Judy Dyble and Ian MacDonald , Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol , Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings and Sean Frater, replaced after their first gig by Martin Lamble...

 in June 1968 and by Jennifer Warnes
Jennifer Warnes
Jennifer Jean Warnes is an American singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. She is known for her interpretations of compositions written by herself and many others, as well as an extensive playlist as a vocalist on movie soundtracks.Between 1979 and 1987 Warnes surpassed Frank Sinatra as...

 on her 1968 debut album I Can See Everything (with artist credit simply by her first name: Jennifer); the latter version was released as a single in 1969.

In 1970 two versions of "Chelsea Morning" were ranked as Easy Listening hits in Billboard
Billboard (magazine)
Billboard is a weekly American magazine devoted to the music industry, and is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. It maintains several internationally recognized music charts that track the most popular songs and albums in various categories on a weekly basis...

: Green Lyte Sunday featuring Susan Darby - an outfit from Dayton OH - reached #29 Easy Listening with "Chelsea Morning" that August while in November 1970 Sérgio Mendes & Brasil '66
Sergio Mendes
Sérgio Santos Mendes is a Brazilian musician. He has released over thirty-five albums, and plays bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk....

 took their take on the song to #21 Easy Listening. Another notable version in 1970 is by Sylvia McNeill
Sylvia McNeill
Sylvia McNeill was born 5 August 1947 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, England.She began her career singing and playing bass guitar with various groups and bands. She went abroad for several years, touring American bases on the continent...

 on RCA 1922 (UK 45rpm) produced by Jack Good
Jack Good (producer)
Jack Good is a pioneering former TV television producer, musical theatre producer, record producer, musician and painter of icons.-Career:...


Neil Diamond
Neil Diamond
Neil Leslie Diamond is an American singer-songwriter with a career spanning over five decades from the 1960s until the present....

 recorded "Chelsea Morning" for his 1971 album release Stones
Stones (Neil Diamond album)
Stones was an album by Neil Diamond. It was recorded and released in 1971 and was one of the bigger hit recordings of his career. The conductors and arrangers were Lee Holdridge, Marty Paich and Larry Muhoberac....


A Finnish rendering: "Kaupungin Aamu", was recorded by Anki for her 1972 album Ennen Aurinkoa while Kjell Hansson recorded the Swedish rendering "Skärgårdsmorgon" for his 1974 album Dig.

The Joni Mitchell version of "Chelsea Morning" is included in the soundtrack
A soundtrack can be recorded music accompanying and synchronized to the images of a motion picture, book, television program or video game; a commercially released soundtrack album of music as featured in the soundtrack of a film or TV show; or the physical area of a film that contains the...

 of the 1985 feature film After Hours
After Hours (film)
After Hours is a 1985 American black comedy film, written by Joseph Minion and directed by Martin Scorsese. Paul Hackett , a New Yorker, experiences a series of adventures and perils in trying to make his way home from SoHo.-Plot:...


Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and Hillary Clinton have stated that their daughter Chelsea
Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Victoria Clinton is a television journalist, currently serving as Special Correspondent for NBC News, and philanthropist, working through the Clinton Global Initiative. She is the only child of former U.S...

is named for the song as performed by Judy Collins. Collins performed the song at President Clinton's 1993 Inaugural ball.
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