Marcie in a coat of flowers
Stops inside a candy store
Reds are sweet and greens are sour
Still no letter at her door
So she'll wash her flower curtains
Hang them in the wind to dry
Dust her tables with his shirt and
Wave another day goodbye

Marcie's faucet needs a plumber
Marcie's sorrow needs a man
Red is autumn, green is summer
Greens are turning and the sand
All along the ocean beaches
Stares up empty at the sky
Marcie buys a bag of peaches
Stops a postman passing by
And summer goes
Falls to the sidewalk like string and brown paper
Winter blows
Up from the river there's no one to take her
To the sea

Marcie dresses warm its snowing
Takes a yellow cab uptown
Red is stop and green's for going
Sees a show and rides back down
Down along the Hudson River
Past the shipyards in the cold
Still no letter's been delivered
Still the winter days unfold
Like magazines
Fading in dusty grey attics and cellars
Make a dream
Dream back to summer and hear how
He tells her
Wait for me

Marcie leaves and doesn't tell us
Where or why she moved away
Red is angry, green is jealous
That was all she had to say
Someone thought they saw her Sunday
Window shopping in the rain
Someone heard she bought a one-way ticket
And went west again


Lyrics submitted by Nelly

Marcie Lyrics as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC

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Marcie song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentI think this is a song about a holiday romance that meant a lot to this woman called Marcie. She was really in love with the man but he returned home.

    The lyrics are beautifully expressive. Marcie tries to control her sorrow by buying candy, peaches and seeing a show. But it doesn't affect her sorrow.

    At first she is happy and hopeful, in a coat of flowers with flower curtains. Even though she has been waiting long enough for dust to gather, she busies herself with chores to make the days pass faster ("wave another day goodbye").

    But life starts to fall apart. The fauset needing a plumber is an image of her being unable to stop herself from cryng or feeling sad. She had spent time with him on the beach but now the beaches are empty. Her emotion is transfered onto them as they "stare up empty at the sky". She is now getting slightly desperate and stops the postman to ask about a letter instead of just waving the day goodbye.

    The next part of the song is absolutely beautiful. There is a strong image of her hurriedly unwrapping a parcel (the string and brown paper falls to the sidewalk - she unwraps it before she even gets inside) only to find that it isn't from him. The coldness of winter sets in.

    She starts to lose hope and "dresses warm" against the chill that's setting in. She sees a show but it has no impact on her or her mood as she simply "rides back down" afterwards. Her memories of the summer have become like magazines that are fading and buried in her memory. Her summer is merely a dream.

    She gives up all hope in the last verse by leaving town - so even if he did write his letters wouldn't find her. She has not only lost hope but lost faith as well as is shown by her being seen on Sunday window shopping.

    I don't know what the use of red and green means, all I know is that they are opposites so maybe they represent opposite sides to her emotions?

    At first part of her is sweet about him leaving and half of her is sour, then red is focused on the autumn (current time) while green is dreaming back to summer, then red is for stopping hoping and green is for her running away, finally they both agree with red being angry with him for not returning and green being jealous of whoever he stayed for (a wife maybe?).
    tally1302on September 20, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI have a distant memory of a late 1960s news documentary about a runaway teenage girl named Marcy who got involved with drugs and hippies and all those evil 1960s things. This included a phone call to her parents. It seemed like that show was all anyone talked about for the next couple weeks, and then she disappeared from the national consciousness as quickly as she appeared. I've tried to google her from time to time over the years but got nowhere. Today I found mlive.com/news/flint/index.ssf/2011/01/… , which confirms that she wasn't a figment of my imagination. I recall when this song came out, it was considered fairly obvious that it was about this Marcy.
    megalosauruson January 09, 2012   Link

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