Both Sides Now Perfect For Clay Aiken

Clay Aiken performed an emotional performance of the song, Both Sides Now on Saturday evening at the convention center in Raleigh, North Carolina.  The beautiful song ended the Champions Gala held by the National Inclusion Project.  The song has always been a favorite of mine, so I wanted to know more about the song.

The Canadian musician, Joni Mitchell, wrote Both Sides Now.  Mitchell recorded her debut album in 1968 and it contained many of her most beautiful and popular songs, including Chelsea Morning, Both Sides, Now, and Woodstock.  She was immediately recognized for her skill as a songwriter and then as a singer.

According to Wikipedia:

Mitchell’s work is highly respected both by critics and fellow musicians. Rolling Stone magazine called her “one of the greatest songwriters ever,” while Allmusic said, “When the dust settles, Joni Mitchell may stand as the most important and influential female recording artist of the late 20th century.”

Rolling Stone ranked Both Sides, Now #170 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Besides Mitchell’s own recording of the song, it has been recorded by many outstanding artists, including Judy Collins, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Linda Eder, and Michael Feinstein.

Clay made a comment on Saturday night about the beautiful lyrics of Both Sides Now and encouraged the audience to listen and watch the lyrics that were signed by the talented interpreter, Mrs. Leisey.

Please take a moment and read the beautiful lyrics and then watch the video of Clay and Mrs. Leisey performing it together.

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
Clouds got in my way

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

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

But now it’s just another show
And 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
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

Oh but now old friends they’re acting strange
And they shake their heads
And they tell me that 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
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life
I really don’t know life at all

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8 thoughts on “Both Sides Now Perfect For Clay Aiken

  1. I've watched this performance several times now and it's just beautiful. It is a great song and Clay sings the heck out of it.

  2. Musicfan…Wonderful information on Joni Mitchell…I knew about her back in the day…and that she is Canadian. I've always liked this song, but it really never did anything for me…. But since Clay sang this at the Gala with Mrs. Leisey signing…It has brought me a deeper sense of what it is all about… Clay is right, the lyrics are absolutely beautiful, and the perfect song for the time we are in right now….

    I've been playing Clay's version of this song, lots, since I first heard it…I've fallin' in love with it. Clay's phrasing, gentleness is just perfect….It's touched my heart and won't let go…

  3. What a wonderful way to close the Gala. Clay's interpretation of this song definitely brought a tear to my eye. I lovd how he shared the stage with the interpreter, an example of inclusion.

  4. I grew up only knowing the Judy Collins version and until recently never knew Joni Mitchell was the song writer. It's a beautiful song and is a great fit for Clay's wonderful voice.

  5. I so remember this song. I always liked it…but, since Clay sang it…he owns it. I just have to watch and listen to it every day. It seems to fit Clay. I'll bet it would be a hit on the radio…because that is a beautiful arrangement.

  6. How do we tell Clay that this was one of his best performances. Not a glory note to be had but I felt and believe he felt every word.

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