Today’s post is the first in a new series that is titled Response Songs. Response songs are ones that were written in response to another song. To kickoff this new series we have Neil Young performing Sugar Mountain. In the introduction to the song he mentions that Joni Mitchell wrote a song in response to Sugar Mountain. Let’s listen to Neil…
Joni did indeed write her song The Circle Game after hearing Sugar Mountain. Her is the story, in her own word, as provided by thrasherswheat.org (a website about Neil).
“In 1965 I was up in Canada, and there was a friend of mine up there who had just left a Rock’n’Roll band in Winnipeg/Manitoba near where I come from on the prairies to become a folk singer a la Bob Dylan, who was his hero at that time, and at the same time there were breaks in his life and he was going into new and exciting directions.
He had just newly turned 21, and that meant in Winnipeg he was no longer allowed into his favorite hangout which is kind of a teeny-bopper club and once you’re over 21 you couldn’t get in there anymore, so he was really feeling terrible because his girlfriends and everybody that he wanted to hang out with, his band could still go there, you know, but it’s one of the things that drove him to become a folk singer was that he couldn’t play in this club anymore. But he was over the hill.
So he wrote this song that was called “Oh to live on sugar mountain” which was a lament for his lost youth. And it went like this… [sings a few verses].
And I thought, God, you know, if we get to 21 and there’s nothing after that, that’s a pretty bleak future, so I wrote a song for him, and for myself just to give me some hope. It’s called The Circle Game.”
Let’s listen to Joni singing the Circle Game……
Let me know if you like the premise behind this post. Also, let me know if you know of other response songs that I can include in future posts.