"My Old Man" as written by and Joni Mitchell....
My old man he's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true no, my old man
Keeping away my blues

He's my sunshine in the morning
He's my fireworks at the end of the day
He's the warmest chord I ever heard
Play that warm chord, play and stay baby
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true, my old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

Then he comes home
And he takes me in his loving arms
And he tells me all his troubles
And he tells me all my charms
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true no, my old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

My old man he's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper from the city hall
Keeping us tied and true no, my old man
Keeping away my lonesome blues


Lyrics submitted by wingedsorceress, edited by Shaquese

"My Old Man" as written by Bernard D. Hanighen Johnny Mercer

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group

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My Old Man song meanings
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15 Comments

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  • +1
    General Commentthis is mine and my dad's song :) he loves joni, and when we're in the house on our own, we play "blue" on vinyll to death :) such an incredible album, and what a voice... i know she probably wrote it about a love interest, but i interpret it as a father-daughter relationship....but maybe that's 'cause i associate it with my dad..my old man!
    DaisyDarlingon November 12, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so beautiful. Joni has a way of truly expressing her feelings through the simplest of words - what a gift. Her voice, the lyrics, and the music in the song combine for such a powerful effect.
    katedavison June 26, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commentdoes the doncing in the dark line have anything to do with springsteins song dancing in the dark?
    a345jklon September 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI know a man who is so much like this...
    smallboyonherbikeon March 17, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's obviously about love. i particularly adore the part about when he's gone, the bed being too big, the frying pan being too wide. i think anyone who's ever been in love can completely identify with those lines.
    karma_queenon May 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis is another one about graham, isn't it?
    chelseamorningon August 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is in no way a reference to Bruce Springsteens "Dancing in the dark" seeing as that song was not released until 1984 and Blue was released in 1971.

    I love the simplicity of the lyrics,,,yet they convey so much emotion, the joy of a carefree and loving relationship, but also with the touch of loneliness that pervades so much of this album.
    sisterseaon February 15, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe line 'he's a dancer in the dark' te me is just a poetic way of saying lover
    just katon January 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think the line refers to her lover's rebellious nature: he sings in the park and he walks in the rain and he dances in the dark. It's like he doesn't give a damn.

    That's why they don't need to get married
    Phonophobeon March 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about her lover at the time, Graham Nash. "We don't need no piece of paper from the City Hall, keeping us tight and true" is Mitchell's way of saying she doesn't need (nor want) to get married. She famously rejected Nash's marriage proposal.
    Dave543210on September 07, 2011   Link

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