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Lyr Req: A Case of You (Joni Mitchell)

DigiTrad:
BOTH SIDES NOW
CHELSEA MORNING
CIRCLE GAME
I DON'T KNOW WHERE I STAND
MICHAEL FROM MOUNTAINS


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GUEST,Tunesmith 01 Mar 08 - 02:07 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 01 Mar 08 - 02:20 PM
alanabit 01 Mar 08 - 02:22 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 01 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM
GUEST 01 Mar 08 - 02:32 PM
alanabit 01 Mar 08 - 02:33 PM
Les in Chorlton 01 Mar 08 - 02:35 PM
RTim 01 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM
GUEST,Randy Fan 01 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM
bankley 01 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM
Les in Chorlton 01 Mar 08 - 02:58 PM
GUEST,Randy Fan 01 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Mar 08 - 03:26 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Mar 08 - 03:52 PM
Les in Chorlton 01 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Mar 08 - 06:11 PM
Ron Davies 01 Mar 08 - 06:27 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Guest 01 Mar 08 - 07:08 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 01 Mar 08 - 08:30 PM
bankley 01 Mar 08 - 08:52 PM
Ross Campbell 01 Mar 08 - 09:43 PM
Backwoodsman 02 Mar 08 - 02:55 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 02 Mar 08 - 03:42 AM
Noah Zacharin 02 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM
Jeri 02 Mar 08 - 03:05 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 Mar 08 - 12:53 AM
Nick 30 May 12 - 01:59 PM
Big Al Whittle 30 May 12 - 05:42 PM
Nick 30 May 12 - 08:21 PM
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Subject: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:07 PM

I was listening/watching Diana Krall's interesting version of Joni Mitchell's "A Case of You" on Youtube recently and I started to think about the lyrics. Basically, Joni is comparing her lover with wine; for example, she refers to her lover as being "bitter and sweet", and of course, says that she could drink a case of him " and still be on my feet". However, I'm not sure that Joni is making sense. She is obviously trying to say that she can't get enough of is wonderful chap. But, sticking with the wine analogy, if he is so wonderfully overwelming - i.e. potent - maybe, a better line would be, "I couldn't drink even a sip of you, and still be on my feet". Discuss.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:13 PM

"Discuss"

Are you kidding me? What the hell is there to discuss?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:20 PM

Guest, Guest, oh, dear! For starters, do you think I have a valid point, and, if not, why not!


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:22 PM

Plenty, I believe. The wine analogy makes sense, because she perceives love as being a state of intoxication. It also follows on very cleverly from the first verse:

Just before our love got lost you said to me,
"I am as constant as the Northern Star."
"Constantly in darkness," said, "Where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar."

I guess you either like Joni or you don't, but to me those are among the cleverest lines she ever wrote. I sure as Hell won't ever write anything near that witty or elegant!


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:26 PM

Alanabit: There's a great big obvious flaw in Joni's lyrics in that verse. The Northern Star is not always constantly in the dark. It is a star! It is constantly in its own light! But that be too subtle for Joni!


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:32 PM

Oh dear, it's Joni's turn for tenuous prittle prattle.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: alanabit
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:33 PM

Oh come on! She's writing lyrics, not science! In context it is a witty response.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:35 PM

"There's a great big obvious flaw in Joni's lyrics"

This cannot be true of the most significant poet / songwriter of something or other.

I have been listening to Blue since 1971. I still don't really understand the songs words but that's me not her.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: RTim
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM

So Tunesmith - it has taken 37 years for you to conclude Joni is not making sense?
Let's look at one of your songs that old!

Tim R


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Randy Fan
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:41 PM

Les has been listening non-stop to Blue since 1971. Surely this demands a place in the Bush admoinistration.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:46 PM

"So Tunesmith - it has taken 37 years for you to conclude Joni is not making sense?"

Thank you!

I love Joni, and most everything she has ever recorded. Plus I find her endlessly fascinating as an artist--something I can't say about very many artists.

So I open the thread and think to myself WTF is this supposed to be about.

Tunesmith, are you a big fan of Joni's?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: bankley
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:53 PM

I always figured that it was about beer, her being a Canadian and all..

not a poverty pack (6), maybe just a dozen, not a two-fer, eh....unless she was like Le Gros Pierre Nadeau...he used to put away around 70 on an average day (Dow) and still play great...that's another story.....


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 02:58 PM

Randy Fan,
"Les has been listening non-stop to Blue since 1971. Surely this demands a place in the Bush admoinistration."

Why did you insert "non-stop"? Why drag in Bush?

What kind of Fan are you?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Randy Fan
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:12 PM

Les - I have been listening to Blue since 1971.

Says it all.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:26 PM

In the conversation in your head with those imaginary friends, I'm sure it says it all.


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Subject: Lyr Add: A CASE OF YOU (Joni Mitchell)
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 03:52 PM

Perhaps she means that, unlike alcohol, she has an endless capacity for this lover. However, it also carries the subtext that - like alcohol - too much of him is going to harm her. She realises this ("be prepared to bleed") but can't quite tear herself away from him. The tone is definitely ambivalent - she's seen this one from both sides too.

BTW, check out the more recent, darker-voiced, jazz-tinged way Joni sings this song now (she re-recorded it). I don't often say this, but I like both versions equally well. One is a younger woman's voice, still with things to learn; and the other has been there, done that, seen it all. And survived.

A Case Of You

- Joni Mitchell

Just before our love got lost you said,
"I am as constant as a northern star."
And I said, "Constantly in the darkness
Where's that at?
If you want me I'll be in the bar."
On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you, darling
And I would still be on my feet
Oh I would still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I'm frightened by the devil
And I'm drawn to those ones that ain't afraid
I remember that time you told me, you said,
"Love is touching souls"
Surely you touched mine
'Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you're in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet
Oh I could drink a case of you, darling
Still, I'd be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said,
"Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed"
Oh but you are in my blood
You're my holy wine
You're so bitter, bitter and so sweet
Oh, I could drink a case of you, darling
Still I'd be on my feet
I would still be on my feet


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 05:18 PM

Look, bottom line (sorry) is it means lots of things and probably something different for each us. That's the whole point of great writing.

Just lie back and make it yours.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 06:11 PM

"Constantly in darkness" and "constantly in THE darkness" are saying two different things. I have always heard and remembered it as "the darkness" (which is borne out by the words above, but I only googled those so that doesn't mean a huge amount). Don't have my Blue LP to hand, so can't check - but "constantly in the darkness" can mean as-seen by the person looking up at the night sky, i.e. constant in the sense of unchanging, the pole star around which (from our viewpoint) all other constellations revolve. Or, it can depict a source of light surrounded by unceasing dark. I think this line is intended to be read in its poetic sense, but the literal interpretations have meaning too. Creative writing often carries a lot of abstract word-associations which resonate in different ways with each listener/reader. Much of its strength and endurance is derived from this subtlety.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Ron Davies
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 06:27 PM

It's great song and a delightful performance of it on "Blue". Do folkies feel compelled to analyze everything to death?

Or, maybe--here's hoping--- the whole thread is a put-on---of the very idea of analyzing a song to death.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 06:39 PM

Only trying to express some idea of what this song means for me, which is a lot. I didn't know this was "analyzing" anything to death. But it gave you a chance to have your little vent. Feel better now?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 07:08 PM

I'm happy to talk Joni, analyzing her stuff is half the fun, figuring ourselves out as we do it is the other half.

This has always been her 'I'm so disillusioned and miss Canada big time' album to me.

The jarring contrasts, like the 'Case of You' lyrics, or on 'River' with the 'Jingle Bells' piano intro, seems to belong more on the follow-up to Blue, For the Roses. Blue and For the Roses are two masterpieces, IMO, and I always thought they would have been great combined as double LP--and would have easily rivaled the White Album/The Beatles as one of the greatest of all time.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 08:30 PM

I see from her website that she's just won the Grammy for best instrumental performance on One Week Last Summer. And Herbie Hancock's tribute album to her (River: The Joni Letters) won best album of the year. In his acceptance speech he mentioned her before anyone else, including his parents and Leonard Cohen: "First of all I want to thank Joni Mitchell, with her incredible words and music..."   

And playing too, if the award is anything to go by -


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: bankley
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 08:52 PM

I have both CDs...got 'em around X-mas...the two of them were released on the same day in early Sept... I prefer Herbie's 'tho. It's the best sounding acoustic album that I've heard in a long time... so nice hearing Wayne Shorter and Hancock together... a lot of surprises here, esp. Tina Turner... I highly recommend it.....good for the ears and soul.....

folk finds its own level, n'est-pas?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 01 Mar 08 - 09:43 PM

I've been trying to find the name of a film which had Joni Mitchell's "River" over the closing titles. A long aerial shot starts close in on a skater turning tight circles on the ice; as the camera pulls away, the skater's circles get wider. Eventually the camera reveals a broad, completely frozen river, and the skater peels off into the distance.

IMDB lists several films which have included "River" in the soundtracks, but none seem to match my recollection.

As this is a bit like remembering the last line of a song, I feel sure somebody on Mudcat will know.

Ross


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 02:55 AM

It's a wonderful song and, like many, redolent of the anguish Joni went through in that period. Just listen in awe to a supreme wordsmith, singer and musician, take from her performance what you will, but ENJOY!!


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 03:42 AM

Ross, can you remember any other details of this film - who was in it, what is was about, or when it was made?


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Noah Zacharin
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 02:39 PM

despite drinking "a case of [him]" she remains cognizant of what he is and is not capable of providing. and so, our lovely protagonist remains on her feet...
p.s. the song is said to have been written about Leonard C


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Jeri
Date: 02 Mar 08 - 03:05 PM

Ross, as soon as I read your post about the song being in the closing credits of a film, I remembered the skaters on a New England Currier & Ives sort of town central pond, THEN I read the rest of your post. If I think of the movie...

I love the line about the Northern Star... "constantly in darkness." I had no idea it was about Cohen, but it makes sense. I thought it was a different sort of darkness.


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Subject: RE: A Case of You -Joni
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 Mar 08 - 12:53 AM

I've always loved the song "My Old Man" from the same album. There's something about the slightly askew piano line, particularly when she sings "we don't need no piece of paper from the city hall, keepin' us tied and true" that still sends a chill up the back of my neck.


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Subject: Tab: A Case of You: is this enough detail?
From: Nick
Date: 30 May 12 - 01:59 PM

I was having a nostalgia session the other night with some people we met on holiday singing Joni Mitchell songs and thought I'd see if I could work out how to play 'A Case of You' - one of favourites - without having to massively retune the guitar to the EADAAE that is suggested on the very good transcription on the Joni Mitchell site.

Borrowing heavily on the transcription above I wondered whether I could play it in normal tuning and found it sounded a bit off. So I ended up in a slightly modified tuning of EADGCE which is easy enough to quickly move to and think what I have come up with approximates the spirit of the tune.

The tab is under but what I wondered was whether it is of any use to someone.

It is NOT a time based, bar for bar, transcription. It has no bars and has no time and the only thing I would say to someone is play it and get the feel of it and see if it helps get to your own version - but is that of any use to someone or should I try (if I have the motivation) to make it more exact? Some bits I'd suggest were played as arpeggios and some as full chords; lots of additional notes could be thrown in (or less); the open G and C notes could be left out or left to ring (the ringing open strings seem to fit in more with the open sound of the dulcimer from the original)

I guess when I learn tunes off people I use a combination of ears, tabs and watching. Sometimes just knowing the key or tuning someone is in or where they play it on a guitar makes more sense than tabs etc.

Any comments welcome.


A CASE OF YOU

INTRO

E|-0-5-8-7-8-5-5-5-5-3-3-3-3---1---0-------------------------------|
C|---0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-----------2-4-0-0-0-----0-2-2---------|
G|-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0---0---0-----------4-4---0-0---------|
D|---3-7-5-7-3-3-3-3-2-2-2-2---0-----------------------3-3---------|
A|-3-------------------------------3---2-3-0-0-0-------------0-2---|
E|-----------------------------------------------3-3---3-3-3-----3-|

VERSE

E|-0---------0------1-----1-3-------1-0------------------|
C|-0-------2----0-0-0-----0---2-0-------2-0-0----0-2-2---|
G|-0-----0------0-0-0---0-------0-0-----------4-4--------|
D|-----0--------2-2-0-0--------------------------------0-|
A|-3-2----------0-0-------------3-------2-0--------------|
E|------------------------------------------3------3---3-|

E|-0---------0------1-----1-3-------0-----1-0---|
C|-0-------2----0-0-0-----0---2-0-----2-0-----2-|
G|-0-----0------0-0-0---0-------0-0-0-0---0-0-0-|---> CHORUS
D|-----0--------2-2-0-0-----------------2-0---0-|
A|-3-2----------0-0-------------3---3-2-0---3-2-|
E|----------------------------------------------|

CHORUS

E|-8-7-5-3-0---0---0-----1-0-----0-------0---|
C|-0-0-0-0-----------2-0-0---2-----2-0---0---|
G|-0-0-0-0-0-0---0-------0-0---0-------4-0----> INTRO
D|-7-5-3-2-------------2-0---------------2---|
A|-8-7-5-3-3---3---3-2-0---3-2-----------3---|
E|-------------------------------3-----------|


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Subject: RE: Tab:A Case of You:is this enough detail?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 30 May 12 - 05:42 PM

I thought she played it on a dulcimer thing.


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Subject: RE: Tab:A Case of You:is this enough detail?
From: Nick
Date: 30 May 12 - 08:21 PM

She does.

I don't have one so have to make do to keep domestic peace


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