I hired a coach to take me from confusion to the plane
And though we shared a common space I know I'll never meet again
The driver with his eyebrows furrowed in the rear-view mirror
I read his name and it was plainly written Nathan La Franeer
I asked him would he hurry
But we crawled the canyons slowly
Through the buyers and the sellers
Through the burglar bells and the wishing wells
With gangs and girly shows
The ghostly garden grows

The cars and buses bustled through the bedlam of the day
I looked through window-glass at streets and Nathan grumbled at the grey
I saw an aging cripple selling Superman balloons
The city grated through chrome-plate
The clock struck slowly half-past-noon
Through the tunnel tiled and turning
Into daylight once again I am escaping
Once again goodbye
To symphonies and dirty trees
With parks and plastic clothes
The ghostly garden grows

He asked me for a dollar more
He cursed me to my face
He hated everyone who paid to ride
And share his common space
I picked my bags up from the curb
And stumbled to the door
Another man reached out his hand
Another hand reached out for more
And I filled it full of silver
And I left the fingers counting
And the sky goes on forever
Without meter maids and peace parades

You feed it all your woes
The ghostly garden grows


Lyrics submitted by Nelly

Nathan la Franeer Lyrics as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Reservoir Media Management, Inc.

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Nathan La Franeer song meanings
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2 Comments

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  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I was hoping somebody else already had an interpretation because aspects of the song don't make sense to me. It seems like metaphor for ... a journey of enlightenment. But it also strikes very much as a literal trip from the city to an idylic country retreat. (Like Sisotowbell Lane, on the same album.) It makes more sense to me as the latter. Because if it's the former I am not sure what Nathan La Franeer represents. A difficulty, but a somewhat nasty one. I don't know. Hoping for some other input.

    xyzwon February 08, 2023   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    the ghostly garden grows...

    oooooo how i have loved this song over the decades

    silverybearon March 29, 2011   Link

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