Wednesday, July 16, 2008

For Annie, Whose Heart Was Broken

The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in 68,
And he told me:
All romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark cafe

You laugh, he said, you think you're immune.
Go look at your eyes they're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies

Pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies?
Only pretty lies
Just pretty lies

He put a quarter in the Wurlitzer
And he pushed three buttons and the thing began to whir
And a bar maid came by in fishnet stockings and a bow tie and she said
Drink up now its getting on time to close

Richard you haven't really changed, I said
Its just that now you're romanticizing some pain that's in your head
You got tombs in your eyes, but the songs you punched are dreaming
Listen; they sing of love so sweet

Love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet?
Oh love can be so sweet,
Love so sweet

Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright

I'm gonna blow this damn candle out
I don't want nobody coming over to my table I got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hiding behind bottles in dark cafes

Dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away
Only a phase
These dark cafe days

~Joni Mitchell, The Last Time I Saw Richard

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Jon said...

It seems Joni spent a lot of time in cafes and taverns. At least her lyrics (especially the early ones) were of those places, often dark, but not always. The only fan letter I ever wrote was to her. It was about 38 years ago. She didn't answer. I never wrote another.

Blogger Professor Batty said...

... good observation. Carey is one and Coyote another, just off the top of my head. Boho Dance could fall into that category as well. Joni keeps her distance from her fans (and lovers!)

Blogger Sharon Spotbottom said...

i heart joni mitchell.

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