JusJoJan — The City of Lights

196619e4-5339-4830-9f64-3fa6994e14ce

Linda G. Hill gave us our prompt for today’s Just Jot It January post. The word is “Paris” and it was suggested by Kelli at Forty and Fanastique.

I was going to write a brief tale about a man and a woman who meet and discover love in the most romantic city in the world, the City of Lights, Gay Paree.

But, alas, this is what popped into my head and it has left no room in there for any other response to the word “Paris.”

Day 28 — I Love Her Voice

For today’s 30-Day Song Challenge we are asked for “a song by an artist whose voice you love.”

Her voice is unique and because of that, she’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I don’t particularly like tea, but I do love her voice. So who am I talking about? None other than Joni Mitchell.

Even though it’s easy for me to pick the artist for this prompt, it’s close to impossible for me to pick only one song to illustrate her enchanting, stylistic singing voice. So I essentially turned the wheel of fortune and this is where it landed.

Song Lyric Sunday — A Case of You

Helen Vahdati’s theme for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt is “drink.” There are tons of songs about drinking, drinkers, and drunks. But the song I came up with is one I would describe as being a little out of the way. Unless you happen to be a Joni Mitchell fan, like I am. If so, then you know her song, “A Case of You,” from her 1971 album Blue.

“A Case of You” is a melancholy song about a failed relationship and the hurt that remains afterwards. Mitchell supposedly wrote this song after her breakup with Graham Nash, although some claim that it’s about Leonard Cohen. In either case, it’s the quintessential after-the-fact love song. She understands that you have to feel love deeply enough to mourn its passing.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Just before our love got lost you said,
“I am as constant as a northern star.”
And I said, “Constantly in the darkness.
Where’s that at? If you want me I’ll be in the bar.”

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada, oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice

Oh, you are in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and you taste so sweet
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
And I’d still be on my feet
I’d still be on my feet

Oh, I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid
I remember that time you told me
“Love is touching souls”
Well surely you touched mine
‘Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time

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

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said, “Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed”

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

Song Lyric Sunday — The Carousel of Time

For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday theme, Helen Vahdati chose “game.” To be honest, last August, in response to a WordPress one-word prompt, “carousel,” I used the same song I’m using today. Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.” I hope it’s okay for me to double-dip this song for your prompt, Helen.

Anyway, Joni Mitchell wrote this song for her third studio album, Ladies of the Canyon, which was released in March 1970 to critical acclaim. In the song, she tells the story of a child’s journey to adulthood. She uses a carousel as a metaphor for the years that go by, pointing out how we can look back, but we can’t return to our past.

The song opens with a young boy enjoying the wonder of youth, but looking forward to getting older. In the second verse, he is sixteen and driving. The final verse finds him at twenty, with his dreams tempered a bit, but still with high hopes for his future.

In an interview in 1994 for a music magazine, Mitchell said: “I didn’t write ‘The Circle Game’ as a children’s song, but I’m very pleased to see it go into the culture in that way.”

Although it was never a big hit, “The Circle Game” became one of Mitchell’s most popular songs.

Here are the song’s lyrics.

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you’re older must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game 

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

FFfPP — Big Yellow Taxi

0D00D24A-DF7B-46C2-8968-BCDFFB0AB880Scott woke up alone in his king-sized bed. Fighting to control the hangover that was splitting his head apart, he tried to remember what went down the night before.

He was pretty sure that Kathy was with him when he went to bed. There had been a lot of drinking and shouting and maybe even a slap or two. Open handed, of course. He never would have struck her with a closed first. No matter how much of a bitch she was being.

But he couldn’t remember the specifics, the details. How much had he had to drink? What were they fighting about? Did he really hit her? And where was she now?

He got up, walked into the kitchen, swallowed four Advil tablets, and started brewing a pot of coffee. He began to remember bits and pieces from the night before. And that’s when the lyrics to that Joni Mitchell song began haunting him.

Listening late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took my girl away
Now, don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

(200 words)


Written for this week’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practioner from Roger Shipp. Photo credit: Kai Pilger pexels-photo-462867 Taxi.