The Sire of Sorrow (Job's Song) - Joni Mitchell
while we're doing epic and the meaning of life......
One of the most extraordinary albums of of 2002 was Joni Mitchell's "Travelogue" along with a deeper, richer voice complemented by a full orchestra as she revisited tracks from throughout her career, the highlight of which is this despairing cry to heaven. Listen to the way her accompaniment builds, a gentle harp, then strings, gentle bells, pizzicato of the double bass, rhythm percussion, full orchestra, male choir as her question becomes epic and her anger grows:
"let me speak
let me spit out my bitterness
born of grief and nights without sleep
and festering flesh
do you have eyes
can you see as mankind sees
why have you soured and curdled me
oh you tireless watcher
what have I done to you
that you make make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
....the janitors of shadowland
flick their brooms at me....
.....tell me why do you starve the faithful
why do you crucify the saints
and you let the wicked prosper
you let their children frisk like dear.......
...already on a bed of sighs and screams and still you torture me with visions you give me terrifying dreams! better I was carried from the womb straight to the grave I see the diggers waiting, they're leaning on their spades...
...why give me light and then this dark without a dawn? (evil is sweet in your mouth hiding under your tongue) show your face! (what a long fall from grace) help me understand! what is the reason for your heavy hand? (you're stumbling in shadows you have no name now)....
It's important that this is the song of a believer. Like Job, Joni asks how a caring God can allow the spread of greed, conflict, terror and evil in the world It feels as if it is about now. There is the implied burden that, as believers, it is at least partly our fault.
Maybe it is. After all, in this so-called democratic world we are the ones who theoretically vote in the Trumps, the Blairs, and those that aid and abet the world as it is, or at the very least could do something about it iniquities.