Created by Ruth Elliott

Welcome! Join me as I reflect on my learning journey with Web 2.0 tools. I'm sure I will find bandwagons to jump on along the way. Let's enjoy the trip.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Music in my Life

Joni MitchellJoni Mitchell via

A few years ago, I was driving down an Ontario highway and listening to CBC Radio. The DJ played two versions of Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell. Joni hails from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan although she has lived for many years in the United States.

This song is beautiful. I love the lyrics and the music. In the first video below, Joni sings this song in 1970 or so.

Joni sings the same song, Both Sides Now, in 2000 after thirty more years of life and living. Her voice is much rougher (I believe she is or was a smoker) but the depth of emotion and feeling is incredible.

That day, driving down the highway with my Dad, the DJ played both versions. What did I learn? "Life changes our song."

Earlier this year, in the early morning hours of May 8th, I sat at the bedside of my Dad, Don Sanders. Dad had just turned 86 a few days earlier. For the last 20 days of his life, Dad was in the hospital and we knew the end was near. My Dad was a man of faith who knew he was going home to see the Jesus he had served for most of his life. He was at peace.

On May 8th, my husband and I sat beside my Dad. I was playing a CD that my sister, Dorothea Dantouze, had made. (She now has some songs up on YouTube.) We were singing along with In the Sweet By and By.

The Alien Shore - in Memory of Dennis Cyncor-M...Image by Ivan Makarov via Flickr

"There's a land that is fairer than day. And by faith we can see it afar. For the Father waits over the way. To prepare us a dwelling place there." "We shall meet on that beautiful shore." "And we'll sing on that beautiful shore. The melodious songs of the blessed."

My Dad's breathing was growing more and more shallow. Half-way through the song, my Dad stopped breathing. I've told many people, "Dad heard the beginning of the song with my sister (on CD), my husband and I singing here on earth. He heard the end of the song up in heaven with the angel choirs singing on the beautiful shore."

Last night we had a family birthday party for my daughter. We were gathered in the backyard around the firepit roasting marshmallows. Someone suggested that we should have a s

CampfireImage by JelleS via Flickr

ing-along. I started with Kumbayah. Then my daughter led us in a cool echo song. Next she suggested that we sing Row, Row, Row Your Boat as a round. I led out, then came my daughter, and lastly my son. Grandma, aunt, and cousins joined in. It was a beautiful summer evening and our harmonious melodies rose up to the stars.

Music plays a chord within me that nothing else can play. The best of music drills down within me to touch my soul--mind, emotions, and will. Music gives me a way to express my fears, joys, and sorrows.

How does music touch your life?

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]


  1. Joni is one of my very favorites, of all time.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Becky.

    I was lucky enough to see Joni in person at the Saskatchewan Centennial Gala in Saskatoon in 2005. She didn't sing though.

    I wonder if Joni compares her voice now to her voice when she was young. What I see as beauty of emotion and experience, she might see as something else. I wish she would sing more today.