top of page

In Flagrante in Circles

A full complement of sopranos last night! However, the tenors were a little thin on the ground.

We learned a brand new song, The Circle Game, in which In Flagrante will sing the chorus and guest singers will each have a solo verse. We are all mainly on the tune, but when it comes to the part ‘from where we came’ is gives a beautiful harmony which enriches the lyrics and mood of the song.

The Circle Game is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell composed in 1966. One of her most-covered songs, it was originally recorded by Ian & Sylvia and Buffy Sainte-Marie in 1967, and by Tom Rush for his 1968 album of the same name.

Joni Mitchell has said that The Circle Game was written as a response to the song "Sugar Mountain" by Neil Young, whom she had befriended on the Canadian folk-music circuit in the mid-1960s. Neil Young wrote "Sugar Mountain" in 1964 on his 19th birthday, lamenting the end of his teenage years: "You can't be 20 on Sugar Mountain."

The Circle Game offers a more hopeful conclusion: "So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty / Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true / There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty / Before the last revolving year is through."

In a concert at the Paris Theatre in London on October 29, 1970, Joni Mitchell opened her performance of The Circle Game with this speech: "In 1965 I was up in Canada, and there was a friend of mine up there who had just left a rock'n'roll band; he had just newly turned 21, and that meant he was no longer allowed into his favourite haunt, which was kind of a teeny-bopper club and once you're over 21 you couldn't get back in there anymore; so he was really feeling terrible because his girlfriends and everybody that he wanted to hang out with, his band could still go there, you know, but it's one of the things that drove him to become a folk singer was that he couldn't play in this club anymore 'cause he was over the hill. So he wrote this song that was called "Oh to live on sugar mountain" which was a lament for his lost youth. And I thought, God, you know, if we get to 21 and there's nothing after that, that's a pretty bleak future, so I wrote a song for him, and for myself just to give me some hope. It's called The Circle Game’

We recapped some of the other songs we will be performing, most being in good shape, but now we are getting to the nitty gritty picky bits where we need to tighten up the endings of the words and ensure we all finish at the same time. The key to this to is WATCH EAMONN! Don’t have your noses in the score, look up at the important moments so we get that crisp ending and a unanimous finish!

Intonation and getting the energy and syncopation is essential to keep the songs alive and keeping our audience interested. It will be exhausting, but well worth it!

Keep listening to the tracks and it will soak into our little grey cells and we will be in total harmony with each other.

Elliot Clay will be leading us for the next two weeks. He will be teaching us a brand new song, Lovely Day, as well as going over some of the numbers we’ve already done.

Let’s show him how we have improved since he last heard us sing!

15 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page