Archive for February 19th, 2023

Urge For Going

GC Myers- The Song That Brought Me Here

The Song That Brought Me Here– At West End Gallery

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the townIt hovered in a frozen sky, then it gobbled summer downWhen the sun turns traitor coldAnd all trees are shivering in a naked rowI get the urge for going but I never seem to goI get the urge for goingWhen the meadow grass is turning brown

–Joni Mitchell, Urge For Going

Felt like listening to some Joni Mitchell this morning. Something reminded me of a short film I saw many years ago which reminded me of her. I think it was on HBO in their earliest days when they would often play short films between their offerings. I remember quite a few of them much better than the movies they were sandwiched between.

This one was, as I remember it, from the Canadian Film Board. It was set in the rural western plains of Canada and was about a young girl, maybe 13 years old, being raised there in the 1950’s. The details are vague in my memory after 40 years or so, but I remember that it concerned a wild horse that was finally captured and broken. She saw the horse’s wildness in herself and quietly vowed at the end that they might have broken the wild horse, they would never break her.

I’ve looked casually for years for this film but can’t locate it. But that young girl’s sense of defiance at being forced into conformity stuck with me. It also reminded me of some of the performers that came out of the plains of Canada, like Joni Mitchell and KD Laing. I can imagine they felt that same urge to run free as the wild horses.

The urge for going, I guess, which brings us to this week’s Sunday Morning Music. It’s a video that ran here about seven years ago. It’s a very early version of Urge For Going from Joni Mitchell. This is taken from a Canadian television program, Let’s Sing Out, that ran from 1963-1967. It was broadcast from various Canadian college campuses and featured many folk performers of the day. Joni Mitchell first appeared on the show in 1965 using her maiden name, Joni Anderson. This particular performance using the more familiar Mitchell is from October of 1966 at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. You can see how special her talent was in the faces of the other performers watching her. I think it’s a beautiful rendition of the song.

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