Anyone’s list of top song­writ­ers would in­clude Joni Mitchel­l, and any list of her top songs would in­clude Both Sides, Now. There’s lit­tle I can say that will add val­ue here, just give it a lis­ten and it’ll im­prove your day, any day.

Joni Mitchell

Notes · It was record­ed by Judy Collins first, not Ms Mitchel­l. Speak­ing of “recorded-by”, check the list of cov­er ver­sions, help­ful­ly or­ga­nized by decade; oh my good­ness gra­cious.

I can re­mem­ber once when I was stage man­ag­er for a con­cert, dur­ing the end­less hours of take-down, load-out, and clean-up, some­one put a tape on the au­di­to­ri­um PA that had a cov­er by a warm-voiced male singer, and since it was on­ly a half-hour tape I heard it like six times, and to this day it re­mains the voice I hear when I think of the song. I was con­vinced it was Don McLean, but can find no ev­i­dence for the ex­is­tence of such a record­ing.

Any­how, one of the most beau­ti­ful melodies ev­er writ­ten by any­one, and per­fect lyrics full of grace and wis­dom.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This tune on Ama­zon, Spo­ti­fy, iTunes. There’s lots of live video from all ages of Joni Mitchell’s ca­reer, but this very ear­ly one made me smile. Ad­mir­ers of Ms Mitchell will prob­a­bly en­joy sam­pling this 1965 Cana­di­an TV broad­cast fea­tur­ing the very young Joni when she had an­oth­er last name. Her star pow­er, even back then, is ob­vi­ous.


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From: John Cowan (Feb 06 2018, at 20:11)

Here's a list of male singers who have covered it, filtered out of Wikipedia and in temporal order:

Dave Van Ronk

Frank Sinatra

Leonard Nimoy

Robert Goulet

Bing Crosby

Ed Bruce

Davy Graham

Jimmie Rodgers

Neil Diamond

Pete Seeger

Tirso Cruz III

Andy Williams

Engelbert Humperdinck

Larry Santos

Glenn Campbell

Willie Nelson

Roger Whittaker

Jim Nabors

Michael Feinstein

Paul Anka

Sandro Perri

John Barrowman

Ronan Keating

Roch Voisine

Michael Ball

George Donaldson

A lot of these folks aren't exactly warm-voiced, and among those who are, the thought of some of them singing it (or the sound; I didn't listen to them all) makes me cringe, but whatever. Dave's version, on the other hand, made me weep.

Bonus fact: Martin P. Robinson, better known as Telly Monster, performed a version called "Three Sides Now" (referring to Telly's love of triangles), but I'm assuming you would have noticed a discrepancy like that. Anyway, Telly's voice is rather scratchy. You can find it on YouTube.


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February 06, 2018
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