"The Tea Leaf Prophecy" as written by Joni Mitchell and Larry Klein....
Study war no more
Lay down your arms
Study war no more
Lay 'em down, lay 'em down now
Study war no more
Lay down your arms
Study war no more

Newsreels rattle the Nazi dread--
The able-bodied have shipped away--
Molly McGee gets her tea-leaves read--
You'll be married in a month they say
"These leaves are crazy!
Look at this town--there's no men left!
Just frail old boys and babies
Talking to teacher in the treble clef."

She plants her garden in the spring
She does the winter shoveling
Tokyo rose on the radio
She says she's leavin' but she don't go

Out of the blue, just passin' through
A young flight sergeant
On two weeks leave--
Says "Molly McGee, no one else will do!"
And seals the tea-leaf prophecy.
Oh these nights are strong and soft
Private passions and secret storms
Nothin' about him ticks her off
And he looks so cute in his uniform

She plants her garden in the spring
He does the winter shoveling
But summer's just a sneeze
In a long-long-bad-winter cold
She says, "I'm leavin' here" but she don't go"

"Sleep little darlin'!
This is your happy home
Hiroshima cannot be pardoned!
Don't have kids when you get grown.
Because, this world is shattered
The wise are mourning--
The fools are joking
Oh, what does it matter?
The wash needs ironing
And the fire needs stoking."

She plants her garden in the spring
He does the winter shoveling
The three of 'em laughing 'round the radio
She says "I'm leavin' here" but she don't go"

She plants her garden in the spring
They do the winter shoveling
They sit up late and watch the
Johnny Carson show
She says "I'm leavin' here but she don't go"


Lyrics submitted by sillybunny

"The Tea Leaf Prophecy" as written by Joni Mitchell Lawrence A Klein

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms) song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentWords by Joni Mitchell with music by Larry Klein and Joni Mitchell off “Chalk Mark in a Rain Storm”
    sillybunnyon September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentStudy war no more …

    She says "I’m leavin' here but she don't go …
    sillybunnyon September 25, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFascinating when she she shovels the snow at first and then "HE" shovels it. It's such an indication of a male commitment (I am dead serious) when you live in Canada.
    TatianaMiltonon December 23, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSong about her parents. Molly is a pseudonym for her mother, Myrtle McGee (her actual maiden name) and the perceived discontentment she had with her life. She met her husband, William Anderson, when he was on a short leave from the Canadian Royal Air Force.

    Joni was once quoted as saying that her mother would actually say to her "don't have kids when you grow up," making Joni to feel like she was a burden.
    princejonion November 19, 2017   Link

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