Song of the Day #3,676: ‘This Flight Tonight’ – Joni MItchell

Today’s random track appears on Joni Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue, her fourth, widely considered one of the greatest singer-songwriter records ever made.

I don’t know Blue well enough to offer my own opinion. I have long had a problem with Joni Mitchell as a vocalist that has kept me at a distance from her work. My loss, I know, because this is clearly next-level songwriting.

The album came during a tumultuous time in Mitchell’s life, and the music is the better for it. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Mitchell said “I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn’t pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there either.”

[Verse 1]
Look out the left, the captain said
The lights down there, that’s where we’ll land
I saw a falling star burn up
Above the Las Vegas sands
It wasn’t the one that you gave to me
That night down south between the trailers
Not the early one
That you can wish upon
Not the northern one
That guides in the sailors

[Chorus]
Oh, starbright, starbright
You’ve got the lovin’ that I like all right
Turn this crazy bird around
I shouldn’t have got on this flight tonight

[Verse 2]
You got the touch so gentle and sweet
But you’ve got that look so critical
Now I can’t talk to you, baby, I get so weak
Sometimes I think love is just mythical
Up there’s a heaven
Down there’s a town
Blackness everywhere and little lights shine
Oh, blackness, blackness dragging me down
Come on, light the candle in this poor heart of mine

[Chorus]
Oh, starbright, starbright
You’ve got the lovin’ that I like all right
Turn this crazy bird around
I shouldn’t have got on this flight tonight

[Verse 3]
I’m drinking sweet champagne
Got the headphones up high
Can’t numb you out
Can’t drum you out of my mind
They’re playing “Goodbye, baby
Baby, goodbye
Ooh ooh, love is blind”
Up go the flaps, down go the wheels
I hope you got your heat turned on, baby
I hope they finally fixed your automobile
I hope it’s better when we meet again, baby

[Chorus]
Starbright, starbright
You’ve got the lovin’ that I like all right
Turn this crazy bird around
Shouldn’t have got on this flight tonight

2 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,676: ‘This Flight Tonight’ – Joni MItchell

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    I confess that I haven’t heard all of Blue, and I’m not familiar with this song. It’s a good one though.

  2. Ryozo says:

    I have several CDs by Joni Mitchell and I personally like the album ‘Blue’ the most among my collection. ‘All I want’ ‘California’ ‘A case of you’ are still gems for me.
    I had an impression that Reprise was a good lable when they released great albums in the 70s.

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