8 August 2022

Songs that change their meaning

I recently saw a YouTube clip of Joni Mitchell returning to the stage after a decade away. The first clip I saw was “Both sides now”. It struck me just how poignant it became when sung by someone in their 70s, compared to being in their 20s, as she was when she first performed it.

Thinking about it turned up lots of examples. Here’s Marianne Faithfull singing “As Tears Go By” in 2018.

The singer Judith Durham, formerly of the Seekers, died recently. I heard the news on, of all places, BBC Radio 3. The song they chose to mark her passing was “The Carnival is Over.” Here she is in 1967.

This is a briefer than usual post. I still haven’t had time to build up a queue of posts which I can schedule in advance.


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