Joni Mitchell’s Rare Book of Handwritten Lyrics & Art To Be Reprinted

Joni Mitchell’s Rare Book of Handwritten Lyrics & Art To Be Reprinted

joni mitchell

Joni Mitchell in Amsterdam, 1972. Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns

This October, fans of esteemed visionary folk singer and poet, Joni Mitchell, can expect something wonderful. Famed for her honest and unfiltered words, the artist has decided to reissue a rare book of handwritten lyrics, poems and watercolour paintings for your reading pleasure.

Morning Glory on the Vine was originally crafted back in 1971 when she handmade only 100 copies for her closest friends, each containing unique notes. Fans will have an exclusive opportunity to peer into the intimate corners or Mitchell’s creative mind and take in yet unseen work from the artist when the book is reissued for the public on October 22.

It will feature early songs and drawings, handwritten lyrics of major hits and watercolours depicting landscapes, life, and Mitchell and her friends, alongside some newer paintings and a fresh introduction from the artist herself.

“In 1971, as her album 'Blue' topped charts around the world, Joni Mitchell crafted one hundred copies of Morning Glory on the Vine as a holiday gift for her closest friends,” Mitchell’s site wrote of the book. 

“For this stunningly beautiful book, Joni hand-wrote an exquisite selection of her own lyrics and poems and illustrated them with more than thirty of her original paintings and watercolors. Hand-crafted, signed, and numbered in Los Angeles, the existing copies of this labor of love have rarely been seen in the past half-century.”

As an artist, Mitchell is quietly a massive high achiever. She is credited as the sole producer on most of her albums, including all of her work from her peak in the 1970s. She has also designed and created most of her album covers herself.

The “faithfully reproduced facsimile” edition of Morning Glory on the Vine, due out October 22nd via Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, will include all pages from the original copies, as well as additional works that Mitchell intended to include in 1971. The reprinting coincides with a yearlong celebration of the artists 75th birthday.

For timely a reminder of the multi-dimensional artist who rose to prominence in the late 1960s, check out this live performance of her era-defining hit, “Big Yellow Taxi”:

“Big Yellow Taxi” + “Both Sides Now” on the BBC (1969)

In this BBC clip, we catch a glimpse of the elegant young singer-songwriter as the public first saw her; uniquely delicate but determined, shining with youthful energy, but disarmingly wise beyond her years. But of course, it’s the music she creates that really steals the show.

Mitchell’s acoustic rhythm on future hit, “Big Yellow Taxi” is infallible. As a child, her left hand was weakened from a bout of polio, so she developed her own style of open chord strumming to compensate. The result is a dynamic, warm and complex bed of music that accompanies the iconic folk-pop anthem that somehow merges themes of romance, disillusionment and joy with politics and the environment. 

For plenty more folk-pop driven wisdom from the most influential Lady of the Canyon, check out our Joni Mitchell: Siren of Sorrow playlist on Spotify...

Listen to Joni Mitchell on Apple Music

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