"Song For Sharon" as written by and Joni Mitchell....
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


Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Song for Sharon" as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Song For Sharon song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment2 things I can't believe :
    -1- only one comment for one of the most beautiful songs ever written at the surface of the earth
    -2- that Joni wrote this while sniffin' cocaine...

    Such a haunting melody, very subtle changes in the backup playing...
    Very few albums or songs reach that level of lyricism, I mean music that's purely led by emotions, in all their implied contradictions, as is all the "Hejira" album, Talk Talk's "Laughing Stock" or Robert Wyatt's "Rock Bottom" (and I almost forgot Van Morrison's "Astral Weeks").
    That's music that grows on you, into you, ever deeper and deeper, endlessly...

    I love (the word is weak) the way the lyrics are written : Joni floats between her present melancholy days, memories of the past, of Sharon, all linked by repeating images ("the lace"), metaphors, places, united by a sort of road trip feeling...

    "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"

    Once you've heard this song, you're tied
    The Dog That Ate...on March 26, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI agree that this is one of the greatest pieces of poetry of the rock era, rivaled only by the very best works of Bob Dylan,Don Henley and a few others from Joni. Jaco Pastorius of Weather Report plays the haunting bass.
    rocknrolllawschoolon May 15, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment'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'

    this is lovely. a little bit of history. the white workers got vertigo and couldn't build the high skyscrapers of new york so they got the native indians from canada to come work as builders as they could balance and keep a level head at great heights.it saddens me that this song was written under the influence of cocaine. i wonder what other great songs came from that induced state.
    maliaaon November 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOnly the greatest of artists could create such an incredible song. I think Joni's work will still be revered, probably more so, a thousand years from now.
    Rickveeon July 17, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjust to be nerdy Jaco does not play on this track, he is on Coyote, Hejira, Black Crow and Refuge of the Roads. When I heard this song in 1977 I thought it was great but hadnt lived enough to truly feel it. This year I met a woman who is 29, just like Joni was ("29 skaters on Wollmann rink") who was/is going through an identity struggle. I suggested this song to her and I think it enlightened her. Its one of the ultimate reflections of Jonis amazing talent for marying highly personal idiosyncratic lyrics with beautiful and unorthodox music.
    sdevwevon October 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFrom Karen O'Brien's biography Joni Mitchell: Shadows and Light:

    "Years later, when asked in an interview about her drugs experiences, Joni Mitchell would say that she'd done some good writing while taking cocaine - notably 'Song for Sharon.'" (p.179)
    alice_in_wonderlandon July 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJoni was in her thirties when she wrote this song. It is her finest work, a beautiful reflection on love and marriage and why she doesn't have either. Stunning.
    magicmenagerieon May 20, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song and the story it tells.
    gemma73124on May 02, 2016   Link

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