Tears and fears and feeling proud To say I love you, right out loud Dreams and schemes and circus crowds I've looked at life that way. But now old friends are acting strange They shake their heads, they say I've changed Something's lost, but something's gained In living every day I've looked at life from both sides now From win and lose, and still somehow It's life's illusions I recall I really don't know life at all
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I was only a folk singer for about two years... By that time, it wasn't really folk music anymore. It was some new American phenomenon. Later, they called it singer/songwriters. Or art songs, which I liked best. Some people get nervous about that word. Art. They think it's a pretentious word from the giddyap. To me, ... the word art has never lost its vitality.
I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart this blight on paradise. That's when I sat down and wrote the song.
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You've got to shake your fists at lightning now, you've got to roar like forest fire You've got to spread your light like blazes all across the sky They're going to aim the hoses on you, show 'em you won't expire Not till you burn up every passion, not even when you die Come on now, you've got to try, if you're feeling contempt, well then you tell it If you're tired of the silent night, Jesus, well then you yell it Condemned to wires and hammers, strike every chord that you feel That broken trees and elephant ivories conceal
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I was demanding of myself a deeper and greater honesty, more and more revelation in my work in order to give it back to the people where it goes into their lives and nourishes them and changes their direction and makes light bulbs go off in their head and makes them feel. And it isn't vague, it strikes against the very nerves of their life and in order to do that you have to strike against the very nerves of your own.
The Blue album, there's hardly a dishonest note in the vocals. At that period of my life, I had no personal defenses. I felt like a cellophane wrapper on a pack of cigarettes. I felt like I had absolutely no secrets from the world and I couldn't pretend in my life to be strong. Or to be happy. But the advantage of it in the music was that there were no defenses there, either.
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There's a man who's been out sailing In a decade full of dreams And he takes her to a schooner And he treats her like a queen Bearing beads from California With their amber stones and green He has called her from the harbor He has kissed her with his freedom He has heard her off to starboard In the breaking and the breathing Of the water weeds While she was busy being free
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IN THE COURT THEY CARVE YOUR LEGEND WITH AN APPLE IN ITS JAW AND THE WOMEN THAT YOU WANTED THEY GET THEIR LAUGHS LONG SILK STOCKINGS ON THE BEDPOSTS OF REFINEMENT YOU'RE TOO RAW THEY THINK YOU'RE TOO RAW IT'S THE JUDGEMENT OF THE MOON AND STARS YOUR SOLITARY PATH DRAW YOURSELF A BATH THINK WHAT YOU'D LIKE TO HAVE FOR SUPPER OR TAKE A WALK A PARK A BRIDGE A TREE A RIVER REVOKED BUT NOT YET CANCELLED THE GIFT GOES ON IN SILENCE IN A BELL JAR STILL A SONG ... YOU'VE GOT TO SHAKE YOUR FISTS AT LIGHTNING NOW YOU'VE GOT TO ROAR LIKE FOREST FIRE YOU'VE GOT TO SPREAD YOUR LIGHT LIKE BLAZES ALL ACROSS THE SKY THEY'RE GOING TO AIM THE HOSES ON YOU SHOW 'EM YOU WON'T EXPIRE NOT TILL YOU BURN UP EVERY PASSION NOT EVEN WHEN YOU DIE COME ON NOW YOU'VE GOT TO TRY IF YOU'RE FEELING CONTEMPT WELL THEN YOU TELL IT IF YOU'RE TIRED OF THE SILENT NIGHT JESUS, WELL THEN YOU YELL IT CONDEMNED TO WIRES AND HAMMERS STRIKE EVERY CHORD THAT YOU FEEL THAT BROKEN TREES AND ELEPHANT IVORIES
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I heard someone from the music business saying they are no longer looking for talent, they want people with a certain look and a willingness to cooperate. I thought, that's interesting, because I believe a total unwillingness to cooperate is what is necessary to be an artist "" not for perverse reasons, but to protect your vision. The considerations of a corporation, especially now, have nothing to do with art or music. That's why I spend my time now painting.
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