Friday, May 6, 2011

For a Song: Yvette in English

Joni Mitchell: Yvette in English


In her younger days, Joni Mitchell seemed to believe that a relationship could be a complete merger of two personalities, with nothing held back. But her later songs take a different view. Yvette in English presents a chance meeting between a man and a woman. They are separated by the barrier of language. And yet, she can make the offer, “Please have this little bit of instant bliss”. In Cary, the joy promised to never end, but now, the whole thing has a quality that is more tentative and fragile. Perhaps, it is more valuable as well. The quality of the music reflects this as well. In the later part of her career, Joni Mitchell has become a fine storyteller, and Yvette in English is a fine example of this.