Both Sides Now (aka BSN) has been around--on & off--since 1969, but till Issue 83-84 we have never published the source of its name in the paper. At the time of its inception the folk singer, Judy Collins was one of the bigger names in pop music, with a thrilling voice which matched that of her famous contemporary, Joan Baez. Joni Mitchell had a very good voice of her own, but in 1967 was better known as a songwriter. So it was that when Mitchell wrote Both Sides, Now, she gave Collins first crack at it, and it was featured on the 1967 album Wildflowers with a charming arrangement by Joshua Rifkin. Later, when a bunch of young countercultural people in Jacksonville FL decided to start an underground paper, they recognized Mitchell's song as an appropriate theme for a publication that would present alternative views to those of the establishment press.

The present editor/publisher was an art critic for a straight paper in Jax at the time, and he was occasionally able to slip progressive perspectives into his reviews. Recognizing this, the younger people invited him to join the staff, and so it was that he was in on the beginning, except for choosing the paper's name. However, he immediately recognized the appropriateness of the choice, since the lyrics tell of seeing the "real" and "ideal" sides of things, and opting for the ideal in the long run. However, though the critic was a journalistic writer, it was another thing to put together a tabloid paper from scratch. Fortunately, he was acquainted with a publisher of tabloids, and the BSN crew got a crash course and was up & running. If you turn to the Backpage section of BSN you will find an announcement for a special issue that gives its story in some detail.

In 1969 "everybody" was familiar with Mitchell's song, though many thought Collins had written it. Today, however, we find that a lot of people have not even heard of it, so we decided to publish the lyrics for the first time, after all these years. Here they are:

Both Sides Now
by Joni Mitchell

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 illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all

Moons and Junes and Ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As ev'ry 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 are 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
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really don't know life at all

Webmaster note: shows the song title as "Both Sides, Now".





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