My heart is broken in the face of the stupidity of my species. I can’t cry about it. In a way I’m inoculated. I’ve suffered this pain for so long. We were expelled from Eden.
The West has packed the whole world on a runaway train. We are on the road to extincting ourselves as a species. That’s what I meant when I said that we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden.
— Joni Mitchell (1943)
songs by Joni Mitchell
from the album Travelogue (2002)
Diego Contreras & Khalid Mohtaseb
Lincoln - Bloom (2015)
music video (5′44″)
Joni Mitchell - Shine
from the album Shine (2007)
R.E.M. - Everybody Hurts videoclip by Jake Scott (1992)
Michael Jackson - Cry videoclip by Nicholas Brandt (2001)
The Light of Life animation by Daihei Shibata (2010)
Northern Lights drone shots by OZZO Photography (2016)
Cadillac commercial fireworks by Daniel Larrosa (2017)
Oh let your little light shine Let your little light shine Shine on Wall Street and Vegas Place your bets Shine on the fishermen With nothing in their nets
Shine on rising oceans and evaporating seas Shine on our Frankenstein technologies Shine on science With its tunnel vision Shine on fertile farmland Buried under subdivisions
Let your little light shine Let your little light shine Shine on the dazzling darkness That restores us in deep sleep Shine on what we throw away And what we keep
Shine on Reverend Pearson Who threw away The vain old God kept Dickens and Rembrandt and Beethoven And fresh plowed sod Shine on good earth, good air, good water And a safe place
For kids to play Shine on bombs exploding Half a mile away
Let your little light shine Let your little light shine Shine on world-wide traffic jams Honking day and night
Shine on another asshole Passing on the right! Shine on the red light runners Busy talking on their cell phones
Shine on the Catholic Church And the prisons that it owns
Shine on all the Churches They all love less and less
Shine on a hopeful girl In a dreamy dress
Let your little light shine Let your little light shine
Shine on good humor Shine on good will Shine on lousy leadership Licensed to kill Shine on dying soldiers In patriotic pain Shine on mass destruction In some God’s name!
Shine on the pioneers Those seekers of mental health Craving simplicity They traveled inward Past themselves… May all their little lights shine
Joni Mitchell - The Magdalene Laundries
from the album Turbulent Indigo (1994)
The Magdalene Sisters movie by Peter Mulan (2002)
The Magdalene Laundries
I was an unmarried girl
I’d just turned twenty-seven
When they sent me to the sisters
For the way men looked at me
Branded as a jezebel
I knew I was not bound for Heaven
I’d be cast in shame
Into the Magdalene laundries
Most girls come here pregnant
Some by their own fathers
Bridget got that belly
By her parish priest
We’re trying to get things white as snow
All of us woe-begotten-daughters
In the steaming stains
Of the Magdalene laundries
Prostitutes and destitutes
And temptresses like me
Sentenced into dreamless drudgery
Why do they call this heartless place
Our Lady of Charity?
These bloodless brides of Jesus
If they had just once glimpsed their groom
Then they’d know and they’d drop the stones
Concealed behind their rosaries
They wilt the grass they walk upon
They leech the light out of a room
They’d like to drive us down the drain
At the Magdalene laundries
Peg O'Connell died today
She was a cheeky girl
They just stuffed her in a hole!
Surely to God you’d think at least some bells should ring!
One day I’m going to die here too
And they’ll plant me in the dirt
Like some lame bulb
That never blooms come any spring
Not any spring
No, not any spring
Not any spring
Joni Mitchell - The Sire of Sorrow (Job’s sad song) from the album Turbulent Indigo (1994)
The Book of Job
animation by The Bible Project (2016)
The Sire of Sorrow (Job’s Sad Song)
Let me speak let me spit out my bitterness Born of grief and nights without sleep and festering flesh
Do you have eyes? Can you see like mankind sees? Why have you soured and curdled me? Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you? That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
Once I was blessed; I was awaited like the rain Like eyes for the blind, like feet for the lame Kings heard my words, and they sought out my company But now the janitors of Shadowland flick their brooms at me
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you? that you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
(Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow)
I’ve lost all taste for life I’m all complaints Tell me why do you starve the faithful? Why do you crucify the saints? And you let the wicked prosper
You let their children frisk like deer And my loves are dead or dying, or they don’t come near (Antagonists: We don’t despise your chastening God is correcting you)
Oh and look who comes to counsel my deep distress Oh, these pompous physicians What carelessness! (Antagonists: Oh all this ranting all this wind Filling our ears with trash)
Breathtaking ignorance adding insult to injury! they come blaming and shaming (Antagonists: Evil doer) And shattering me (Antagonists: This vain man wishes to seem wise
A man born of asses) Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you? That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
(Antagonists: We don’t despise your chastening)
Already on a bed of sighs and screams And still you torture me with visions You give me terrifying dreams! Better I was carried from the womb straight to the grave
I see the diggers waiting, they’re leaning on their spades
(Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow Sure as the sparks ascend) Where is hope while you’re wondering what went wrong?
Why give me light and then this dark without a dawn? (Antagonists: Evil is sweet in your mouth Hiding under your tongue) Show your face! (Antagonists: What a long fall from grace) Help me understand!
What is the reason for your heavy hand? (Antagonists: You’re stumbling in shadows You have no name now) Was it the sins of my youth? What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true? (Antagonists: Oh your guilt must weigh so greatly) Everything I dread and everything I fear come true (Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow)
Oh you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true