Sitting in a park in Paris, France
Reading the news and it sure looks bad
They won't give peace a chance
That was just a dream some of us had
Still a lot of lands to see
But I wouldn't wanna stay here
It's too old and cold and settled in its ways here

Oh, but California
California, I'm coming home
I'm going to see the folks I dig
I'll even kiss a Sunset pig
California, I'm coming home

I met a redneck on a Grecian isle
Who did the goat dance very well
He gave me back my smile
But he kept my camera to sell
Oh the rogue, the red, red rogue
He cooked good omelets and stews
And I might have stayed on with him there
But my heart cried out for you, California

Oh, California, I'm coming home
Oh, make me feel good, rock 'n' roll band
I'm your biggest fan
California, I'm coming home

Oh, it gets so lonely
When you're walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
Just give you the blues
Just give you the blues

So I bought me a ticket
I caught a plane to Spain
Went to a party down a red dirt road
There were lots of pretty people there
Reading Rolling Stone, reading Vogue
They said, "How long can you hang around?"
I said, "A week, maybe two
Just until my skin turns brown
Then I'm going home to California"

California, I'm coming home
Oh, will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man
California, I'm coming home

Oh, it gets so lonely
When you're walking
And the streets are full of strangers
All the news of home you read
More about the war
And the bloody changes
Oh, will you take me as I am?
Will you take me as I am?
Will you?
Will you take me as I am?
Take me as I am


Lyrics submitted by wingedsorceress, edited by folmsbee

California Lyrics as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Reservoir Media Management, Inc.

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California song meanings
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30 Comments

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  • +2
    General Comment

    This song doesn't necessarily have to be about California... "I'm going to go see the folks I dig "--It's more about coming home to a place you love and where people love you after travelling on "streets full of strangers". I love those high notes and the sweet melody of this song.

    teriyaki86on January 25, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    wow, i just listened to this song for the first time after reading this, and it brought tears to my eyes. lol i am so emotional

    munchneron March 05, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I love the reference to this song in Led Zeppelin's "Going to California."

    Electrophileon December 29, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I was on a Navy ship off the coast of Vietman in 1972. When we finally got orders to return to the U.S., we would play this song over the P.A. speakers when we finished up with supplying another ship.

    duhaaston July 15, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Love this song!

    I think it can be interpreted as missing California and wanting to come home... but also.

    I think its about her love life-She met a Red Neck in Grecian isle... its a beautiful island of paradise, he did the goat dance (which is a dance they do i forget what island to predict the weather, something like that). He makes her Omelette's, but she misses her "California" another man.

    Explains -"Will you take me as I am Strung out on another man", -drug reference :) shes exhausted her last relationship & is coming home to "California" Wants him to take her as she is.

    "Still a lot of lands to see But I wouldn't want to stay here It's old and cold and settled in it's ways here"

    Hes old, she has her eyes set on another & doesn't want to get to know what else the land has to show.

    I like the Sunshine Pig interpretation where she kisses the pig, because I have always seen Joni as a sly songstress who is witty & i think shes being kinda humours when she says she will kiss a pig.

    Who do I think California represents, HMM

    David Crosby, was one of my guesses, she lived with him in California. They had a strong friendship he made sure the record label didn't make her go rock folk & gave her independence to do an acoustic folk record.
    He was in a lil rock group called Crosby Stills Nash... He was her biggest fan "Oh make me feel good, rock and roll band I'm your biggest fan"

    The next idea, was Nash If you listen to his songs about Joni it sounds like they had a relationship... He was also in the same band as Crosby. Jus the ideas I got from listening.

    Cosa_Nostraon July 20, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    well this song is sort of obvious. i hate to be one of those people that just says how good a song is, but i realized that this song is so amazing because it could still apply today.

    indiechick3987on December 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    One of my favorite songs. Never been to California, so that probably helps. It makes California sound like the best place to be, and it probably isnt.

    dragzon December 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    this song automatically makes me think of summer- makes sense- but i mean- it's just so good and it applies to everyone and anyone i find. just love it. i'm surprised more people haven't commented on this song or even joni in general

    mle_loveon February 01, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    recently bought the cd blue and cant stop liseneing to this song. its about returning to a place where you feel excepted and at home and god i love this song

    a345jklon September 18, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I agree with Electrophile, but I think this song is a lot better than Zeppelin's Going to California - feel free to disagree!

    Did Joni Mitchell actually come from California? Cos I almost think that she's making fun of the things that are typical to California, e.g.

    The way they talk - "Gonna see the folks I dig"

    The Musical background - "...feel good Rock and Roll band" - Beach Boys?

    The added instrument in the section that begins - "Oh it gets so lonely" - some kinda keyboard?

    Just some thoughts :) But in all, a beautiful song, the first time I heard it I wanted to live in California too!

    mercury_girl86on January 02, 2006   Link

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