Joni Mitchell muses on the mysteries of marriage and her relationship to that beast. This is from her 1976 album Hejira. The whole album is primarily her playing low key guitar chords (in her weirdly tuned way) while musing about the deep subjects. Most folks can't get away with this sort of crap. If you're writing crappy teen angst poetry on this website, why not check out this album and see how an artist handles these matters, and then leave it to them. We'll thank you now, and you'll thank me later.

Larry Carlton, the LA studio guitar god, does some work on here, but it's very low key. The most noticeable musician aside from Joni's voice and guitar is Jaco Pastorius on bass. I don't know if you're familiar with the work of Mr. Pastorius, but this is a style of bass playing that I do not think had been done prior to him. You hear it all over the place now, but I had never heard it before Jaco did it. It's hard to describe, but it sounds as if he's sliding a note and it's getting louder as he slides. And then he'll hit you with a shotgun of notes. It's awesome. I suppose he's using a volume control pedal or the volume knob on the bass itself.

I don't want to add to the node about Jaco Pastorius right now, but I will tell you that he's dead, and it wasn't pretty. He got all messed up with drugs and alcohol in the mid-'80s. This led to several public fuckups. He went nuts onstage at the Hollywood Bowl in mid-set at the 1984 Playboy Jazz Festival. Incidents such as this cost him all his capital in the music business. He turned into a homeless addict and died in 1987 from a getting the crap beat out of him while trying to break into the Midnight Club in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Of course, no one remembered who he was until he was dead, and then he was a legend overnight. Sad how all that works.

But, back to Joni and this song. The images of the white dress and church, mystics and gambling, suicide and romance . . . she's so good with sort of thing. As I said, leave this stuff to the real poets. And, if they can sing and play an instrument, that's just perfect, isn't it?

I went to Staten Island
To buy myself a mandolin
And I saw the long white dress of love
On a storefront mannequin.
Big boat chuggin' back with a belly full of cars...
All for something lacy.
Some girl's going to see that dress
And crave that day like crazy.

Little Indian kids on a bridge up in Canada;
They can balance and they can climb
Like their fathers before them.
They'll walk the girders of the Manhattan skyline.
Shine your light on me Miss Liberty
Because as soon as this ferry boat docks
I'm headed to the church
To play Bingo.
Fleece me with the gamblers' flocks.

Remainder of lyrics removed due to © restrictions.

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