"Ethiopia" as written by and Joni Mitchell....
Hot winds and hunger cries--Ethiopia
Flies in your babies' eyes--Ethiopia
Walking sticks on burning plains
Betrayed by politics
Abandoned by the rains
On and on, the human need
On and on, the human greed profanes
Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Your top soil flies away--Ethiopia
We pump ours full of poison spray--Ethiopia
Between the brown skies and sprinkling lawns
I hear the whine of chain saws
Hacking rain forests down
On and on, insanities
On and on, short sighted greed abounds
Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Little garden planet-oasis in space
Some hearts hurt, they can hardly stand it
Famine phantoms at the garden gates
Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Every Sunday on T.V. Ethiopia
You suffer with such dignity Ethiopia
A T.V. star with a P.R. smile
Calls your baby "it" while strolling
Through your tragic trials
On and on, stupidity
On and on, the basic needs are defiled
Good air, good water, good earth
Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Little garden planet, oasis in space
Some hearts hurt, they can hardly stand the waste
Ethiopia, Ethiopia, Ethiopia


Lyrics submitted by threearmedman

"Ethiopia" as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Ethiopia song meanings
Add your thoughts

2 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is obviously about poverty, in ehtiopia and all around the world. Joni is stressing that now we are all aware of what is going on in the world and how some of our people are suffering, it's time for action! It takes more than a newswoman strolling through poverty and making us sympathise, we need to actually take physical action!
    Wunderkind92on July 06, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhat it means to me...I'll wait until I feel more lucid to answer that, and I have some discretion issues as well. I'll just say I can relate to people "strolling through my tragic trials" and exploitation.

    Here are her comments from jonimitchell.com...


    "This was my reaction to all those "We Can Save You" songs which raised so much money for corrupt Ethiopian leadership. I was begged to take this off the record. A friend of mine said, "I hate it. All those parallel 2nds, they're wrong!"
    Even Wayne Shorter said, "What are these chords? They're not piano chords, they're not guitar chords. What are they?"
    I said, "Well look, these women are bone thin, their babies are dying in their arms. They're walking along with nothing but the rags on their backs. They're coming to a crossroads; one road leads to slavery; the other leads to death by the side of the trail...It's not like they have any good place to go. You think they're gonna be walking along to an Everly Brothers triad?"
    johncoltrane88on February 28, 2012   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain