Margo Price‘s newest release channels the melancholy of 2020’s year-closing holiday season. Her cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” is a perfect fit for this different, lonelier-than-usual end to a year most of us would rather forget.
Price recorded her version of “River” at Pulse Studios in Nashville, after originally debuting the cover during Planned Parenthood’s recent Village of Love benefit event. She accompanies herself on keys as she sings Mitchell’s words of heartbreak, set against a backdrop of impending Christmastime.
“Oh, I wish I had a river so long / I would teach my feet to fly,” Price sings. “I wish I had a river / I could skate away on / I made my baby say goodbye.”
Originally from Mitchell’s 1971 album Blue, “River” borrows bits of its piano line from “Jingle Bells.” It’s one of her most-covered songs, with everyone from Linda Ronstadt to Sarah McLachlan recording their own versions of the classic.
Despite being forced off the road — and opting to delay the release of her newest album — due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Price has had a busy 2020: Following that postponement, she released That’s How Rumors Get Started in July, and shared a live album featuring cuts from a three-night headlining run at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium in 2018.