“Its coming on Christmas, they’re cutting down trees, they’re putting up reindeer, and singing songs of joy and peace. Oh, I wish I had a river to skate away on…”

So sings Joni Mitchell on quite possibly one of the saddest holiday tunes ever recorded to tape. A cornerstone track off her 1971 LP, Blue, “River,” complete with it’s faux “Jingle Bells” piano intro, has since been covered by many artists but never once executed with the depth and gravity of the authors original. Essential.

MP3: Joni Mitchell :: The River
Amazon: Joni Mitchell – Blue

+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Holiday-ish MP3s.

8 Responses to “Seasons Greeting’s From :: Joni Mitchell”

  1. Robert Downey Jrs cover is quite good. Never thought I’d say that.

  2. I’ve been listening to Blue like mad as of late, it always sounds better (is that even possible) during a Canadian winter.

  3. perhaps my favorite song ever. thanks for sharing

  4. Definately, one of my all-time favorite songs. This song needs to be put out there more for new people to hear.

  5. Been listening to a lot of Joni lately. Always worth a post.

  6. I’ve got a set of covers of this song up over at Cover Lay Down. Especially wonderful: Angus Stone’s version, hot off the Australian presses.

  7. The only other holidays song that could possibly be more depressing is Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat.”

  8. I absolutely love this song, it should never be redone. I was Christmas shopping the other day, and an attempt of a “River” rendition was playing. Terrible. If you want to listen to holiday music while wrapping your gifts, there are original and classic performances to be found at

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