Circle Game
(source: "Rise Up Singing", Peter Blood and Annie Patterson, 1992.)
(words and music by Joni Mitchell)

Thanks very much to Erin Bates, who e-mailed me this song!

Yesterday a child came out to wander
Caught a dragonfly insider a jar
Fearful when the skies are full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star.


And the seasons, they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down.
We're captives on the carousel of time.
We can't return, we can only look behind from where we came
And go round and round and round in the circle game.
Now the child's grown ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like "when you're older" must appease her
And promises of someday make her dream.

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to cartwheels through the town
And they tell her "take your time, it won't be long now
Before you drag your feet to slow the circle down."

Now the child of yesterday's grown twenty
Although some dreams are lost, some grandeurs coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.