It is beneficial, especially in polarized times like these, to look at things from more than one perspective. One perspective that lies outside my experience is that of the female. Although I firmly believe that there is no difference between males and females beyond the biological differences and social expectations, it’s impossible to ignore the ways that the experiences of individuals vary by gender. Male supremacists are making an ugly – and hopefully last – stand in my society and it got me thinking about women who have influenced and inspired me in my art. I’ll never write as well as Virginia Woolf, play guitar as well as Bonnie Raitt, or sing as well as Sade. Then there is the triple threat of Joni Mitchell. I’ll never write, play, or sing as well as she can. But maybe I can learn something by trying.
Here is my take on her 1968 song Both Sides Now. If you’re interested in learning how to play it, I relied on videos by Sue Tierney McNamara and a guy calling himself Privettricker. Before starting, tune your guitar to an open D (D, A, D, F#, A, D) and put a capo on the 4th fret.
Rows and floes 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 love’s 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
New album "Observations" available now.
A veteran of NYC’s underground music scene, Mike Power played on the stages of such beloved lost venues as CBGB’s and Kenny’s Castaways, as well as stalwart surviving ones like Arlene’s Grocery and the Bitter End as singer/songwriter/bassist with Late Model Humans. In 2020, quarantining from the global pandemic he worked remotely with other artists to record a collection of new music called Observations, that infuses his punk roots with introspective acoustic pieces.
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