A Case of You

"A Case of You" is a song by Joni Mitchell, from her 1971 album Blue.

"A Case of You"
Song by Joni Mitchell
from the album Blue
GenreFolk, folk rock
Songwriter(s)Joni Mitchell
Producer(s)Joni Mitchell

Writing and recording

Mitchell wrote "A Case of You" in or before 1970. As with many of the songs on her album Blue, her breakup with Graham Nash is often cited as the inspiration for it.[1] It is also claimed that it is about Leonard Cohen.[2] She performed the song at the Amchitka Greenpeace benefit concert in October 1970. She recorded the song in 1971, and it was released on the 1971 album Blue with Mitchell playing Appalachian dulcimer, accompanied by James Taylor on acoustic guitar, which was tuned to standard tuning, (EADGBE), although there are cover versions played in an open G tuning (DGDGBD).

Mitchell's earliest public performances of "A Case of You" contain six lines that had changed by the time Blue was recorded. The line "I am as constant as a northern star" is an allusion to Caesar's "I am constant as the Northern Star" from the Shakespeare play Julius Caesar, while the quoted line "Love is touching souls" is inspired by the German poet Rainer Maria Rilke.[3]

"A Case of You" was also released as the B-side of "California".[4]

Additional recordings and performances

Mitchell later re-recorded the song for her live album Miles of Aisles (1974), as well as her orchestral album Both Sides Now (2000).

She performed it regularly on her 1983 tour.

The original recording was included on Mitchell's compilation Misses (1996).

Awards and accolades

In 2011 Mitchell was voted the No. 1 female artist and "A Case of You" the No. 1 female song by listeners of BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.[5]

Cover versions

There are well over 300 known recordings of "A Case of You".[6]

The band Sloan covered the song for the 1992 tribute album Back to the Garden; the cover was released as a single.

Tori Amos covered the song as a B-side for the UK single of "Cornflake Girl" in 1994.

Prince played the song throughout his career. He played it in 1983 during the First Avenue performance where the album versions of "Purple Rain" and several other tracks from the Purple Rain album were recorded. A recording of the song from that year was released on his posthumous album Piano & A Microphone 1983. He recorded a version, retitled "A Case of U", for his 2002 album, One Nite Alone..., which he dedicated to his father John L. Nelson, who died in August 2001. His rendition was also included on the 2007 tribute album A Tribute to Joni Mitchell.

Jane Monheit covered the song for her 2001 album Come Dream with Me.

Diana Krall covered the song on her 2001 album Live in Paris.

k.d. lang covered the song on her 2004 album Hymns of the 49th Parallel, a tribute to her favourite Canadian songwriters.

Julia Murney covered the song on her 2006 album I’m Not Waiting.

Michelle Branch covered the song for the 2009 covers album Covered, A Revolution in Sound.

The English singer/songwriter James Blake covered Mitchell's song for his EP Enough Thunder (2011). Samples of the cover were then used in the tracks "Tep and the Logic" and "You Know Your Youth", which appeared on the deluxe edition of his eponymous debut album.

In 2012 the Portuguese singer Ana Moura recorded a cover version for her album Desfado produced by Mitchell's former husband and producer Larry Klein.

In 2013 James Wolpert performed "A Case of You" during the Live Playoffs of The Voice. His cover reached the Top 10 of the iTunes Top 200 Singles Chart. Other notable versions were performed by Rebekah Smarin (2014), Madi Davis (2015), Troy Ramey (2017), and Addison Agen (2017).

In 2014 English singer/songwriter Gabrielle Aplin recorded a cover version for her English Rain EP.[7]

A version of "A Case Of You" is part of the final track on Salvador Sobral's Excuse Me Ao Vivo album.

Soundtrack appearances

The song appears in the films Truly, Madly, Deeply, Practical Magic and Waking the Dead. Mitchell declined, however, to grant permission to use the song in the 2013 film A Case of You.[8]

The song was both referenced and featured in a 1996 episode of the medical drama Chicago Hope, in which Dr. Diane Grad (Jayne Brook) mentions that Mitchell's Blue album was a personal favorite of hers while growing up, and that "A Case of You" was her favorite song on the album. Mitchell's recording of the song later played over the episode's closing credits.

In 2013 the song was featured in "In Dreams Begin Responsibilities", the fourth episode of the fifth season of NBC's Parenthood.[9] One of the main characters, Drew, is pursuing a girl who mentions she loves the song. Drew tries to learn as much about Joni Mitchell as he can, only to find out that the girl only knows "A Case Of You" because it was in a movie.


  1. "Behind the Song: Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You" « American Songwriter". americansongwriter.com. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  2. Chiasson, Dan (2 October 2017). "Joni Mitchell's Openhearted Heroism" via www.newyorker.com.
  3. Chiasson, Dan (October 2, 2017). Touching Souls: Joni Mitchell’s lessons in love The New Yorker.
  4. "Joni Mitchell – California". Discogs. Retrieved January 10, 2016.
  5. "Your Desert Island Discs results". Desert Island Discs. BBC. Retrieved November 15, 2011.
  6. "Joni Mitchell - Known recordings of 'A Case of You'". jonimitchell.com.
  7. FB, Dr (3 April 2014). "A Case Of Her: Gabrielle Aplin To Release "English Rain" EP". drfunkenberry.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  8. "Romantic Comedy: Imbibe in Moderation". The New York Times. 6 November 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
  9. "Music from Parenthood S5E04". tunefind.com. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
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