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Joni Mitchell


“Songs are like tattoos,” said Joni Mitchell in the title track from her 1971 album Blue. She was right. And if you peel away from Joni’s own flesh three songs that span nearly the entire length of her recording career – Little Green, Chinese Cafe/Unchained Melody and Stay in Touch – you will see one prayer. Namely: an invocation to the daughter she gave up for adoption in 1965. The sense of being branded as a result of bearing a child out-of-wedlock also enables Joni to “identify, deeply” with the women she writes about in The Magdalene Laundries, on the Chieftains new album, Tears Of Stone. Not the specifics, as in “Brigid” who “got that belly/By her parish priest” and is “sentenced into dreamless drudgery” by “bloodless brides of Jesus” who “leech the light out of a room” but the sense of abandonment felt by such women.”I know what it is to be stigmatised…


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