What is love? Joni Mitchell just answered the eternal question

Posted by for Relationships

Singer Joni Mitchell has given a rare interview, and her reflection on what being in love really means is a refreshing and reassuring read.

“Joni Mitchell is the woman who taught your cold English wife how to feel…”

You only need to flashback to that iconic Emma Thompson scene in Love Actually to learn why Joni Mitchell is the voice of the heart’s highs, lows, aches and pains. You know the one: after realising her husband is having an affair, Thomspon’s character secretly wipes away tears as Mitchell coos, “I look at love from both sides now.”

It’s just one of Mitchell’s iconic love songs from her 50+ years as a singer/songwriter, along with records like A Case of You, Blue and Carey. This is a woman who has provided the soundtrack to many-a woman’s love life

Now, Mitchell has opened up about love in a rare interview, and it’s a fascinating read from a woman who has  “loved quite a few people” in her 76 years on this earth. 

Describing love as “just part of the story,” Mitchell told The Guardian she had no concept of what love was at the height of her success: “I just occasionally would fall into it, or thought I did. I’d have a strong, palpitating attraction to somebody; that’s what I called love, I guess.

She said this idea of what love is hasn’t changed over the years, explaining: “It’s still the same. I make the same mistake over and over again, and I’m just a fool for love.”

Asked if she has experienced love quite a lot, Mitchell replied: “Quite a bit, yeah, actually. I’ve loved quite a few people, and by that I mean I really feel happy in their company. 

“That’s pretty much it – the joy of someone’s company. That’s what I call love.”

Joni Mitchell in Amsterdam in 1972.
Joni Mitchell in Amsterdam in 1972.

Within the same interview, Mitchell also talked about “pulling the weeds in your soul early” to “[make] you a better adult”. And she revealed that she’d never been a reader, and instead finds inspirations from her songs “from observation, travel, and people”.

At a time when the dating landscape is changing so rapidly, and life’s milestones (marriage, starting a family) are making us question what we really want from a relationship, it’s refreshing to hear that one of the most successful and prolific musicians out there is “just a fool for love” like most other people. 

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Hollie Richardson

Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…