"Banquet" as written by and Joni Mitchell....
Come to the dinner gong
The table is laden high
Fat bellies and hungry little ones
Tuck your napkins in
Take your share
Some get the gravy
And some get the gristle
Some get the marrow bone
And some get nothing
Though there's plenty to spare

I took my share down by the sea
Paper plates and Javex bottles on the tide
Seagulls come down
And they squawk at me
Down where the water-skiers glide

Some turn to Jesus
And some turn to heroin
Some turn to rambling round
Looking for a clean sky
And a drinking stream
Some watch the paint peel off
Some watch their kids grow up
Some watch their stocks and bonds
Waiting for that big deal
American Dream

I took my dream down by the sea
Yankee yachts and lobster pots and sunshine
And logs and sails
And Shell Oil pails
Dogs and tugs and summertime
Back in the banquet line
Angry young people crying

Who let the greedy in
And who left the needy out
Who made this salty soup
Tell him we're very hungry now
For a sweeter fare
In the cookie I read
"Some get the gravy
And some get the gristle
Some get the marrow bone
And some get nothing
Though there's plenty to spare"

Lyrics submitted by ruben

"Banquet" as written by Mitchell

Lyrics © Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing, Spirit Music Group, Downtown Music Publishing

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Banquet song meanings
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  • 0
    My OpinionI think its about life and its circularity, how some get everything and some nothing(though theres plenty to share), and you never know what will come your way...beautiful writing...
    vanja89on February 17, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs with many of the songs on the For the Roses album this one springs from a questioning and critical nature -- occasioned by the event of going to a big outdoor party. Never one to just eat drink and be merry without some serious contemplation, Joni's asking the broad questions it brings up for a thinking person who knows their good fortune isn't shared by everyone -- why do basic life situations vary so much among people and why do some people end up wanting in a world of such abundance? --- is it greed, is it neglect, is it luck or misfortune? is it fate or some choices people make along the way that explains their circumstances? And even in a situation such as a banquet where everyone in line gets something to eat, why do some people get fed better and sooner than others? The questions a sensitive person might ask, put in the context of the picture she paints with the non-questioning descriptive lyrics. The combination of those and a melodic structure makes this, as with so many of Joni's songs, a song one can listen to over and over without tiring of it.
    greendreameron March 07, 2013   Link

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