Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she'll answer too
Call her green and the winters can not fade her
Call her green for the children who have made her little, green
Be a gypsy dancer

He went to California
Hearing that everything's warmer there
So you write him a letter, say, "her eyes are blue"
He sends you a poem and she's lost to you
Little, green, he's a non-comformer

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the night's when the Northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes and sometimes
There'll be sorrow

Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you're sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You're sad and you're sorry but you're not ashamed, little green
Have a happy ending

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
Just a little green
Like the night's when the Northern lights perform
There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there'll be sorrow


Lyrics submitted by wingedsorceress, edited by princejoni

"Little Green" as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing

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Little Green song meanings
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27 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentLyrics are a bit off here. Correct version:

    Born with the moon in Cancer
    Choose her a name she will answer to
    Call her Green and the winters cannot fade her
    Call her Green for the children who’ve made her
    Little Green, be a gypsy dancer

    He went to California
    Hearing that everything’s warmer there
    So you write him a letter and say, her eyes are blue.
    He sends you a poem and she’s lost to you
    Little Green, he’s a non-conformer

    Chorus:

    Just a little Green
    Like the color when the spring is born
    There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow
    Just a little Green
    Like the nights when the northern lights perform
    There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes
    And sometimes there’ll be sorrow

    Child with a child pretending
    Weary of lies you are sending home
    So you sign all the papers in the family name
    You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed
    Little Green, have a happy ending
    glowinthedarkon April 10, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General CommentJoni mitchell put her baby up for adoption when she was a teenager, and then she wrote this song about it. pretty sad huh??
    onelove26on April 30, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song makes me cry. I always thought she was a teenager when she gave up her daughter, but she was in fact in her early twenties. I love the lyrics and its a very touching song
    Stoned Immaculateon February 27, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commentvery sad song, especially the lines 'Child with a child pretending' meaning she was still too young to give her child a proper upbringing. Makes me cry everytime i hear this song.
    JanuaryGirl25on July 13, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was born in moon in cancer too :)
    it's a sad song, I agree with the previous comments, but Mitchell knows she's doing the right thing and hopes for the best for her daughter's life. This is why she isn't ashamed and hopes for a happy ending.
    dark ivoryon October 12, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy copy of the lyric sheet (from the CD release some time in the 90s) has 'non-conformer'.
    DavidBon January 16, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentEchoing hab204 . . . it is brilliant. The lyrics are so spare, but the vision and emotions that the words evoke are so robust and strong: Heart-wrenching. If you don't cry when you listen to this you aren't paying attention . . . and if you are a parent . . . maybe takes it to another level.
    whaslikuson February 16, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBorn with the moon in Cancer (the birth of her daughter)
    Choose her a name she will answer to (Joni names her daughter)
    Call her green and the winters cannot fade her (she calls her "Kelly", I suppose like Kelly green - a vibrant, spring time color, so different from the cold winter that she is pregnant in.)
    Call her green for the children who've made her
    Little green, be a gypsy dancer (Joni hopes for a happy, carefree life for her daughter)

    He went to California (the dad abandoned Joni)
    Hearing that everything's warmer there (seeks out his own comfort, and leaves Joni freezing in Canada)
    So you write him a letter and say, "Her eyes are blue." (Joni tries to connect with him, and generate interest in their daughter)
    He sends you a poem and she's lost to you (he is too self-absorbed to care. Joni is alone.)
    Little green, he's a non-conformer (Joni tries to tell Kelly, your dad is a non-confirmist, so he will not commit to me or you. He is too selfish and must do his own thing.")

    Just a little green (Joni thinks about how vulnerable Kelly is)
    Like the color when the spring is born (How beautiful and full of hope Kelly is.)
    There'll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow (she thinks about Kelly going to school and grwoing up without her.)
    Just a little green
    Like the nights when the Northern lights perform
    There'll be icicles and birthday clothes
    And sometimes there'll be sorrow (all the things that Kelly will experience, and Joni will not be there to share.)

    Child with a child pretending (Joni feels like a child herself, and now she has a child. She has to "act grown up", but she feel so overwhelmed.)
    Weary of lies you are sending home (telling her parents that everything is fine and not to worry)
    So you sign all the papers in the family name (sign adoption papers)
    You're sad and you're sorry, but you're not ashamed (It's heart-wrending for Joni, but she loves her daughter.)
    Little green, have a happy ending (Please, Kelly, let this turn out okay. Please have a happy life. I want you to be happy.)

    (I am now drowning in tears. I am SO GLAD that Little Green DID have a happy ending.)
    Cjorgensenon March 24, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentit's touching
    nabywooon May 22, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlol he's a local farmer?! haha thats a funny mistake =p
    g~rockstar~bon December 01, 2004   Link

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