Song for Sharon

I chose Joni Mitchell’s Song for Sharon as my entry for the #SLS this week.  We can post any song containing a girl’s name starting with an S in either the title or the lyrics, as suggested by Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing — one of this prompt’s most active participants.

Song For Sharon was dedicated to Joni’s best friend when she was growing up in Maidstone, Saskatchewan, in the 50s and it references the fact that Sharon had been planning a career as a professional singer while Joni hoped to be a farm wife. In adulthood, each realized the other’s ambition. It starts with Joni recounting that she rode the ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island to visit a mandolin store and on the way there the sight of a wedding dress in a store window triggered a long string of reminiscences: her longing for marriage and a family, years back; her failed romances; a friend’s suicide. The sight of Manhattan’s skyscrapers from the ferryboat made her think of the Native American construction workers who built them. The sight of the Statue of Liberty made her contemplate, eventually, the frivolity and aimlessness of her personal relationships and her longing for a conventional marriage.

By: Joni Mitchell (Album: Hejira (1976)

I went to Staten island.
To buy myself a mandolin
And I saw the long white dress of love
On a storefront mannequin
Big boat chuggin’ back with a belly full of cars…
All for something lacy
Some girl’s going to see that dress
And crave that day like crazy
Little Indian kids on a bridge up in Canada
They can balance and they can climb
Like their fathers before them
They’ll walk the girders of the Manhattan skyline
Shine your light on me Miss Liberty
Because as soon as this ferry boat docks
I’m headed to the church
To play bingo
Fleece me with the gamblers’ flocks
I can keep my cool at poker
But I’m a fool when love’s at stake
Because I can’t conceal emotion
What I’m feeling’s always written on my face
There’s a gypsy down on Bleecker Street
I went in to see her as a kind of joke
And she lit a candle for my love luck
And eighteen bucks went up in smoke
Sharon, I left my man
At a North Dakota junction
And I came out to the “Big Apple” here
To face the dream’s malfunction
Love’s a repetitious danger
You’d think I’d be accustomed to
Well, I do accept the changes
At least better than I used to do
A woman i knew just drowned herself
The well was deep and muddy
She was just shaking off futility
Or punishing somebody
My friends were calling up all day yesterday
All emotions and abstractions
It seems we all live so close to that line
And so far from satisfaction
Dora says, “have children!”
Mama and Betsy say-“find yourself a charity.”
Help the needy and the crippled or put some time into ecology.”
Well, there’s a wide wide world of noble causes
And lovely landscapes to discover
But all I really want right now
Is… find another lover
When we were kids in Maidstone, Sharon
I went to every wedding in that little town
To see the tears and the kisses
And the pretty lady in the white lace wedding gown
And walking home on the railroad tracks
Or swinging on the playground swing
Love stimulated my illusions
More than anything
And when I went skating after golden Reggie
You know it was white lace i was chasing
Chasing dreams
Mama’s nylons underneath my cowgirl jeans
He showed me first you get the kisses
And then you get the tears
But the ceremony of the bells and lace
Still veils this reckless fool here
Now there are 29 skaters on Wolmann rink
Circling in singles and in pairs
In this vigorous anonymity
A blank face at the window stares and stares and stares and stares
And the power of reason
And the flowers of deep feeling
Seem to serve me
Only to deceive me
Sharon you’ve got a husband
And a family and a farm
I’ve got the apple of temptation
And a diamond snake around my arm
But you still have your music
And I’ve still got my eyes on the land and the sky
You sing for your friends and your family
I’ll walk green pastures by and by

Info source: Joni Mitchell’s page

18 thoughts on “Song for Sharon

    1. Thanks Pete. We’re good. So far, the current worries are the new Covid strains but we’re doing fine.

      Joni Mitchell is one of the greatest living artists… her music deserves more exposure these days πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love Joni Mitchell’s voice, but like most of the others, this song is new to me. I used to live in Staten Island when I was young and my uncle owned a construction company where he employed many Native American Indians for high construction work, as they were very sure footed and they didn’t seem to fear heights.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have a sister who is deeply involved with music, she’s the one introducing me to these kinds of sounds… if it’s just on me, my playlist will be so limited… πŸ˜€ Thanks for checking it out ❀


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