"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

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

The Tea Leaf Prophecy (Lay Down Your Arms) song meanings
Add your thoughts

4 Comments

sort form View by:
  • 0
    General Comment@sillybunny Don't is a casual way of saying do not. They mean the same. It's (or it is) like calling a girl Kathleen or Kathy. The name is the same but Kathy is a casual, more friendly way, of saying Kathleen. Joni uses casual language to be poetic. Her song lyrics are like poems.

    Molly moves to a town of short summers and long winters. There's (or there are) no men in town. They're (or they are) off fighting in World War II. A tea leaf reader, a gypsy, tells Molly she'll (or she will) be married in a month. Molly doesn't (or does not) believe the tea leaves because there's (or there are) no men. A soldier on leave shows up. They fall in love. They stay in the town.

    Joni likes to show how things are like each other. Molly lives in a town that does have short summers, long winters and not too much going for it. Molly keeps saying she's going to leave. But she stays. Love keeps her there. Joni is saying the war torn world is sad. We all just want to live here and be happy but we also have wars. It bothers some people so much, I'm sure they would like to leave a world that has too much war. But they stay. Love keeps them here.

    I think many times songs and poems are not easy to understand but because the writer wants this. This is an anti-war song but also it is maybe a song of hope. Molly's solder doesn't die in the war. Molly says she's leaving but she sticks around. She stays. And life goes on.
    sillybunnyon December 23, 2016   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