Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell, CC
Order of Canada
The Order of Canada is a Canadian national order, admission into which is, within the system of orders, decorations, and medals of Canada, the second highest honour for merit...

 (born Roberta Joan Anderson; November 7, 1943) is a Canadian
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

A musician is an artist who plays a musical instrument. It may or may not be the person's profession. Musicians can be classified by their roles in performing music and writing music.Also....* A person who makes music a profession....

, singer songwriter, and painter
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

. Mitchell began singing in small nightclubs in her native Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

 and Western Canada
Western Canada
Western Canada, also referred to as the Western provinces and commonly as the West, is a region of Canada that includes the four provinces west of the province of Ontario.- Provinces :...

 and then busking
Street performance or busking is the practice of performing in public places, for gratuities, which are generally in the form of money and edibles...

 in the streets and dives of Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

. In 1965 she moved to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 and, touring constantly, began to be recognized when her original songs ("Urge for Going," "Chelsea Morning
Chelsea Morning
"Chelsea Morning" is a song written by Joni Mitchell and introduced on the singer's 1969 album Clouds..The song was inspired by Mitchell's room in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City. The inspiration for the first verse comes partly from the distinct décor of her apartment...

," "Both Sides, Now," "The Circle Game") were covered by notable folk singer
Folk Singer
Folk Singer is a 1964 album by Muddy Waters. Waters plays acoustic guitar, backed by Willie Dixon on string bass, Clifton James on drums, and Buddy Guy on acoustic guitar...

s, allowing her to sign with Reprise Records and record her own debut album in 1968.

I need to explore and discover and so that has given me, really, to some what seems like courage, but really it's just in my stars, there's nothing I can do about it . . . . I guess I'll just take my award and run now.

Said on being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, (January 29, 2007)

I don't like being too looked up at or too looked down on. I prefer meeting in the middle to being worshipped or spat out.

The New York Times (February 4, 2007)

Any time I make a record it's followed by a painting period. It's good crop rotation.

I was demanding of myself a deeper and greater honesty, more and more revelation in my work in order to give it back to the people where it goes into their lives and nourishes them and changes their direction and makes light bulbs go off in their head and makes them feel. And it isn't vague, it strikes against the very nerves of their life and in order to do that you have to strike against the very nerves of your own.

On the writing period of Blue

There's been a tremendous amount of growth. An actress is not expected to continue to play her ingenue roles, you know, I've written myself roles to grow into gracefully, but there is no growing into gracefully in the pop world. Basically the reason I'm so unruly in this business is because I never wanted to be a human jukebox.

In our possessive coupling So much could not be expressed So now I'm returning to myself These things that you and I suppressed.


You go down to the pick up station Craving warmth and beauty You settle for less than fascination A few drinks later you're not so choosy When the closing lights strip off the shadows On this strange new flesh you've found Clutching the night to you like a fig leaf You hurry To the blackness And the blankets To lay down an impression And your loneliness.

"Down to You" from Court and Spark

Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine, You taste so bitter and so sweet Oh I could drink a case of you, darling And I would still be on my feet I would still be on my feet.

"A Case of You" from Blue

Rows and flows of angel hair, And ice cream castles in the air, And feather canyons ev’rywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way. But now they only block the sun, They rain and snow on ev’ryone, So many things I would have done But clouds got in my way.

"Both Sides Now"

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now, From up and down, and still somehow It’s cloud illusions I recall, I really don’t know clouds at all.

"Both Sides Now"