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Names in the News Print-ready version

Toronto Star
March 15, 1977
Original article: PDF

WHY IS THERE SO MUCH LONELINESS IN THE WORLD, JONI MITCHELL? “There isn’t a lot of commitment to anything; it’s a disposable society”

Time for an interlude with one of Canada's best-known gifts to the world of music - Joni Mitchell. Tell us, Joni, why do your songs often deal with loneliness?

"I suppose people have always been lonely but this, I think, is an especially lonely time to live in. So many people are valueless or confused. I know a lot of guilty people who are living a very open kind of free life who don't really believe that what they're doing is right."

Right, Joni. Why does this happen?

"Things change so rapidly. Relationships don't seem to have any longevity. Occasionally you see people who have been together for six or seven, maybe 12 years, but for the most part people drift in and out of relationships continually. There isn't a lot of commitment to anything; it's a disposable society."

Are you lonely?

"I don't have a very large circle of friends. But there's other kinds of loneliness which are very beautiful. Like sometimes I go up to my land in British Columbia and spend time alone in the country surrounded by the beauty of natural things. There's a romance which accompanies it, so you don't feel self-pity.

"In the city, when you're surrounded by people who are continually interacting, the loneliness makes you feel like you've sinned. All around you you see lovers or families and you're alone, and you think: Why? What did I do to deserve this? That's why I think the cities are much lonelier than the country."

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