Lyrics of the Week – Week 10


Dedicated to everyone who has reached a point of realization in his or her life.

“Both Sides Now” by Joni MitchellJONI

Rows and flows of angel hair,
And ice cream castles in the air,
And feather canyons everywhere.
I’ve looked at clouds that way.

But now they only block the sun.
They rain and snow on everyone.
So many things I would have done,
But clouds got in my way.


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.

Moons and Junes and ferris wheels,
The dizzy dancing way you feel,
As every fairy tale comes real.
I’ve looked at love that way.

But now it’s just another show.
You leave ’em laughing when you go.
And if you care, don’t let them know.
Don’t give yourself away.

I’ve looked at love from both sides now,
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s loves illusions I recall.
I really don’t know love at all.

Tears and fears and feeling proud,
To say “I love you” right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds.
I’ve looked at life that way.

But now old friends are acting strange,
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed.
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.

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

This song was first released on the album Clouds in 1969 and rereleased in a jazz style in 2000 for the same titled album.

I first heard this song on the movie Love Actually. The character played by Emma Thompson has received the album Both Sides Now as a gift from her husband, and soon realizes that he is having an affair with a younger woman. The scene in which this song is played is heartbreaking. Emma Thompson’s slow realization of the affair is captivating on its own, but the song adds a feeling of nostalgia.

Do we really know love at all? Everyone has a perception of love, of what is expected to happen in a relationship and what actually happens in a relationship. There is a common feeling of confusion after most failed relationships, because part of the couple thought he or she knew exactly what to do. Also, many people become used to the repetition of losing someone over and over again without learning anything from what happened. The message of realization in “Both Sides Now” is meant to be encouraging to those who are confused. Look at life from both sides, now.

Photo Credit: Joni

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One response to “Lyrics of the Week – Week 10

  1. Judy Collins’ beautiful rendition of this song won a Grammy in 1968

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