First recorded by Ian & Sylvia (1967).
Also recorded by Buffy Sainte Marie (1967).
Hit album versions by Tom Rush (US #68 1968), Joni Mitchell, writer (US #27 1970).
From the wiki: “‘The Circle Game’ was written by Joni Mitchell but was first recorded by Ian & Sylvia in 1967. Tom Rush recorded the song in 1968 and used as the title track for his song-cycle album, The Circle Game. The songs on the album follow the cycle of a relationship from its beginning to an end, according to the lyric content and sequencing of songs.
“‘The Circle Game’ can be read as the turning point of the relationship while Rush’s song ‘Rockport Sunday’ ends the romance instrumentally. Mitchell would record a cover of her own composition for inclusion on her 1970 album Ladies of the Canyon that also included such notable original songs as ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ and ‘Woodstock’.”
Buffy Sainte Marie, “The Circle Game” (1967):
Tom Rush, “The Circle Game” (1968):
Joni Mitchell, “The Circle Game” (1970):