Joni Mitchell – Help Me ….Canadian Week

I remember hearing this song on WMAK-AM in the seventies on my sister’s Vega radio. The car that she carried a case of oil in the hatchback because it burned it more than gas.

This song was on the great album Court and Spark. Joni tried using LA’s best session players for this but it didn’t work like she wanted. She then used jazz musicians to back her on this album. Joni’s songs can be complicated because Graham Nash once said that she played in so many different open chord tunings…that she made some of them up. The jazz band she used was The L.A. Express, led by saxophonist Tom Scott.

Joni Mitchell not only wrote her own songs but was also her own producer. That is not very common with female or male artists on the whole. This song was Mitchell’s biggest hit that she had. That surprised me…I would have thought it would have been Big Yellow Taxi. I always compared her voice to a slide whistle we had as kids. That’s not a put-down…but she can cover the gambit with her voice from low to extremely high.

Joni Mitchell - A Chronology of Appearances

Who did she write this song about? Some say it was Jackson Browne who she had just broken up with and some say it’s Glenn Fry. Whoever it’s about she left it open enough so that anyone can relate to it. The song peaked at #6 in Canada and #7 on the Billboard 100.

Prince, who was a huge fan of Mitchell, even mentioned it on “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” from his 1987 album, Sign ‘O’ the Times.

She said, “Sound like a real man to meMind if I turn on the radio?”“Oh, my favorite song, ” she saidAnd it was Joni singing: “Help me, I think I’m falling”

Joni Mitchell: “A throwaway song, but a good radio record.”  “My record companies always had a tendency to take my fastest songs on album for singles, thinking they’d stand out because they did on the LPs. Meantime, I’d feel that the radio is crying for one of my ballads.”

Help Me

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love again
When I get that crazy feeling, I know
I’m in trouble again
I’m in trouble

‘Cause you’re a rambler and a gambler
And a sweet-taIking-ladies man
And you love your lovin’
But not like you love your freedom

Help me
I think I’m falling
In love too fast
It’s got me hoping for the future
And worrying about the past
‘Cause I’ve seen some hot hot blazes
Come down to smoke and ash
We love our lovin’

But not like we love our freedom
Didn’t it feel good
We were sitting there talking
Or lying there not talking
Didn’t it feel good
You dance with the lady
With the hole in her stocking

Didn’t it feel good
Didn’t it feel good
Help me
I think I’m falling
In love with you

Are you going to let me go there by myself
That’s such a lonely thing to do
Both of us flirting around
Flirting and flirting

Hurting too
We love our lovin’
But not like we love our freedom


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

38 thoughts on “Joni Mitchell – Help Me ….Canadian Week”

  1. Very good choice, really there’s so many to choose from but it makes sense to point to her highest charter. Another example of an enduring song that didn’t hit top 5. I forgot about her and JB, sometimes her songs were not necessarily just about or inspired by one person.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With most I tried to get a more universal song they recorded…
      I’ve learned more about Joni Mitchell since I’ve been blogging. I have heard two of her albums alot…Blue and Court and Spark…the rest not as much.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. A great song. ‘Court and Spark’ is the album I know best of hers and the singles were all huge when I was a kid in Ontario, and rightfully so. She’s certainly written some great songs and is one of the most-respected Canadian musicians around the world without a doubt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. She is no doubt…I couldn’t do this without including her. Blue and Court and Spark are the two that I know the best.
      Running late today.


  3. I love this song! Court and Spark was the first Joni album I heard and I instantly fell in love with her voice and music. The fact that the girl that played this album to me was a tall, long-haired blonde makes this song even more special!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. She has an all-over-the-place feel on this lyrically but it touches down and links the backing together. I don’t know the technical term but I hope you know what I mean(!)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Joni is jazz at heart but she makes it work for pop songs as well. Tom Scott and the L.A. Express backed her on the Miles of Aisles album set. Joni does it all across all media. One of the greats of our time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s such a great tune, even though at times Joni’s vocals go very high – something I needed to get used to, especially in her folkie phase. To this day, I can only take one or two high-pitched songs at a time. But in this case, the great jazzy vibe more than compensates for the occasionally high singing. She also was a very inventive guitarist, no doubt!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I may have told you this before…but I always thought of her voice like a slide whistle we used to have as kids…it can go high and low within a split second….and I mean that as a good thing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I respect her the most for her songwriting….man she makes up some of those tunings….good luck to people covering her lol.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: