Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Cusp Song of the Day: Help Me

In Cusp, the Karen and Mark select “Help Me” from the tabletop jukebox at their diner hangout. Joni Mitchell’s eloquent lyrics describe the cusp of a new relationship or, perhaps, just a fling. After all, as she says in the last lines, “We love our lovin’/But not like we love our freedom.” For critical teenager Karen, the song’s lyrics outshine its performance:

Around noon on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, Mark and I sit at the Mamaroneck Inn, nursing coffees and waiting for Craig to arrive. We select Joni Mitchell’s ‘Help Me’ from the tableside jukebox even though I’ve always felt her voice seems a little screechy on some of the high notes.”

The song, from the magnificent Court and Spark, had risen to number 7 on the pop charts the previous year, and would end up being Mitchell’s highest-charting single. Melding pop, jazz and folk, the song features Tom Scott’s L.A. Express and was produced by Mitchell.

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