Both Sides Now

Last night I re-watched an old documentary on American folk music,
that I had first seen maybe eight or ten years ago. I enjoyed it, but
what it brought back to me was why I believe Judy Collins is one of
the greatest song writers of all time.

She is, as great lyricists are, an observer of life, and a commenter
on all she sees.  She of course comments by way of those song lyrics.

All writers of words are in fact, observationists, and commentators.

My two favorite songs from her of all time,  are Turn, Turn, Turn and
Both Sides Now.  They are both simplistic in their nature, and that’s
true both lyrically and musically. Yet they are  profound.

Pete Seeger actually wrote the music for Turn, Turn, Turn.

My favorite rendition of Turn, Turn, Turn was recorded by the
folk/rock group the Byrds, and my favorite version of Both Sides Now
was made by Collins herself, although there is an old version made by
Neil Diamond that I love.

The lyrics are simple, and so is the instrumental aspects of the
songs, and that is one thing that makes them great. The lyrics lose
some of their poignancy and wisdom without the music, but alas I will
only share with you the words

In Turn, Turn, Turn she observes that everything, good and bad, has a
place in the order of things. She does not ponder if they should or
not, only that they do. There is a time for everything she states. She
observes through her lyrics, that “all things will pass”.  In this
song she takes the good with the bad in a matter of fact sort of way.
No judgments!

In Both Sides now, who’s lyrics I have shared on these pages before,  she says something every human being has felt. That is, how you see things today, is not necessarily how they will be seen tomorrow. Once again, this song is not preachy or judgmental. It just
“is what it is“. It may seem sad, but it really is just a deep, poetic
observation.

I do identify with the song Both Sides Now, on a much more emotional
level than it was meant to impart. Through the years I have found that
it is true of many people I have known.

I do find these songs to be equally powerful.

Judy Collins is one of songwriting’s best observers and one of its
best commentators. She in fact, turns observational commentating into a
fine art.

Turn, Turn, Turn
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)

And a time to every purpose, under heaven
A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear, it’s not too late

Both Sides Now

Rows and flows of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I’ve looked at clouds that way

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and ferries wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I’ve looked at love that way

But now it’s just another show
You leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know
Don’t give yourself away

I’ve looked at love from both sides now
From give and take and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know love at all

Tears and fears and feeling proud,
To say “I love you” right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I’ve looked at life that way

But now old friends they’re acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed
Well something’s lost, but something’s gained
In living every day.

I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all


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A time for everything.

God Bless,
Wayne

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