Joni Mitchell

Album Title: Songs of a Prairie Girl
Release Date: April 26, 2005
Genre: Folk
Any album that contains the song "River", undeniably one of the greatest, most touching pop songs ever crafted, deserves to be listened to. What's more, this particular album was compiled from Joni Mitchell's extensive back-catalogue as a gift from the legendary musician to her home province of Saskatchewan on its 100th birthday. There's something kind of essential about this collection for Canadians, especially prairie dwellers, and it is this: although there are no new songs included, Songs of a Prairie Girl is an unabashed view of Canada through a Canadian's eyes, which doesn't happen very often. It's something every Canuck can appreciate.

In the liner notes of Prairie Girl, Mitchell warns that a hot beverage and heater will be necessary when listening to the album, and she wasn't kidding. The stark, desolate, and ultimately chilly lifestyle a prairie girl leads it way through the album, with songs like "Come In From The Cold" and "Paprika Plains" conjuring up similar stark images as "River". The collection culminates in "Urge For Going", which seems a cruel kick in the teeth, considering Mitchell intended this as a tribute to her home. It's quite the opposite actually, as leaving the flatlands is something every prairie dweller has felt the need to do, but as Mitchell demonstrates, the age old adage holds true: You can take the girl out of the prairies, but you can't take the prairie out of the girl.

Writer: Jaclyn Arndt

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