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  • Song to a Seagull

    On her 1968 debut, Joni Mitchell thanks Mr. Kratzman for teaching her to love words in more than just the album dedication; Song to a Seagull’s poetic lyricism and ornate vocabulary are its hallmarks. Though the Canadian-born songwriter had been exploring the New York folk scene, this David Crosby-produced album reveals Mitchell’s deep love of classical music and eschews the era’s folk-rock sound in favor of something more impressionistic and melodically rich. With her soaring vocals and harmonic guitar at the forefront, the mood is wistful and there is a fanciful innocence here that isn’t present in Mitchell’s later work. Divided into two parts, Song to a Seagull moves from the city to the sea in its tales of failed marriage (“I Had a King”), grumbling taxi drivers (“Nathan La Franeer”), promise-breaking pirates (“The Pirate of Penance”), and, ultimately, the desire for love versus the need for independence (“Cactus Tree”).

    Song to a Seagull Catalog Number:  Reprise RSLP 6293

    Song to a Seagull Track Listing:

    Part One: “I Came to the City”

    1. I Had a King – 3:37

    2. Michael from Mountains – 3:41

    3. Night in the City – 2:29

    4. Marcie – 4:35

    5. Nathan La Franeer – 3:20

    Part Two: “Out of the City and Down to the Seaside”

    1. Sisotowbell Lane – 4:04

    2. The Dawntreader – 5:04

    3. The Pirate of Penance – 2:44

    4. Song to a Seagull – 3:51

    5. Cactus Tree – 4:38

    Get Song to a Seagull on Vinyl:

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