Memorial Service Music - Both Sides Now?
Is there a song (or a few) that you’d want played at your own funeral memorial service or celebration of life gathering, for the people that are remembering and thinking of you after you’re gone?
Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell has said that Both Sides Now was inspired when she was on an airplane and looked down on the clouds; she was reading a section of the novel Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow, in which the character is also looking down at the clouds. Joni Mitchell’s version of Both Sides Now (above) was released in 1969.
(Joni Mitchell Photo: Pinterest)
Although songstress Joni Mitchell wrote Both Sides Now, it was first recorded and released by her friend, American pop singer Judy Collins in 1967. Judy Collins won a Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance and had a #8 hit with her version of Both Sides Now, below.
(Judy Collins Photo: Herald de Paris)
Since then, Both Sides Now has been been recorded by many artists, including Anne Murray, Willie Nelson, Dion, Engelbert Humperdinck, Andy Williams, Doris Day, Cilla Black, Glen Campbell, Roch Voisine, Paul Anka, Neil Diamond, and Dolly Parton, to name but a few.
Below are some additional favorite versions of Both Sides Now.
American folk icon Pete Seeger wrote a letter to his friend Joni Mitchell on his 50th birthday and asked to add a verse(s), explaining: “I’m hitting the half-century this year, and have to have something to give my end of the age scale a boost.” He included Both Sides Now on his album Young vs. Old (1969).
“Daughter, daughter, don’t you know. You’re not the first to feel just so. But let me say before I go, it’s worth it anyway. Some day we may all be surprised, we’ll awake and open up our eyes. And then we all will realize the whole world feels this way. We’ve all been living upside down, and turned around with love unfound until we turn and face the sun. Yes, all of us everyone.“
Kenyan-British singer-songwriter Roger Whittaker’s album New World in the Morning (1971) included his version of the song, with a title change to From Both Sides Now.
Below, Roger Whittaker singing From Both Sides Now live.
Is Both Sides Now by one of these artists, on your list of top songs to celebrate the life and memories of yourself or a loved one at their memorial service?
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