Joni Mitchell — “River” (from Blue) — River - Blue

I always found it funny that this little tune — the token heartbreaker on many a holiday album — was considered in some circles to be a modern Christmas standard, because a) it is so depressing and full of melancholy, and b) it only mentions Christmas in passing in the first verse. Then, after all these years, it dawned on me recently — don’t remember how, but I was thunderstruck in that moment — that it shares the exact same melody and chord structure (if not general mood and sentiment) as “Jingle Bells.” Ooh, you’re a sly one, Joni. (Merry Christmas Eve, y’all.)

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