The Circle Game was written by the incomparable Joni Mitchell and was released on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon. This is what we were listening to when I was a freshman in college at NYU. I can see why it was so popular because of her lyrics, melodies, arrangements, guitar playing and most of all, her pure, clear, almost crystalline voice.
Looking back now, I’m amazed at how someone so young came up with such a mature theme and sophisticated lyrics. Lyrics such as: “we’re captive on the carousel of time, we can’t return we can only look behind”, “words like, when you’re older, must appease him”, “dreams have lost some grandeur coming true”, and especially the poignant phrase “it won’t be long now till you drag your feet to slow the circles down” – how did she so convincingly have that perspective at her young age?
Anyway, here’s my version playing the ‘Dynamic Nylon’ acoustic guitar sample from the Yamaha Clavinova. I enjoy listening to it, but not as much as listening to Joni’s voice singing it.
Dedicated to my friend W Beaubeaux.