I came upon a child of God
He was walking along the road
And I asked him, where are you going
And this he told me
I'm going on down to Yasgur's farm
I'm going to join in a rock 'n' roll band
I'm going to camp out on the land
I'm going to try an' get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

Then can I walk beside you
I have come here to lose the smog
And I feel to be a cog in something turning
Well maybe it is just the time of year
Or maybe it's the time of man
I don't know who l am
But you know life is for learning
We are stardust
We are golden
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden

By the time we got to Woodstock
We were half a million strong
And everywhere there was song and celebration
And I dreamed I saw the bombers
Riding shotgun in the sky
And they were turning into butterflies
Above our nation
We are stardust
Billion year old carbon
We are golden
Caught in the devil's bargain
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden


Lyrics submitted by mrrubery

Woodstock Lyrics as written by Joni Mitchell

Lyrics © Reservoir Media Management, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Woodstock song meanings
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16 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    This is one of my favorite songs. It's a great anthem for the hippie generation.
    The song is a story of a character who met someone inspirational (the guy in the band) and followed him and joined the hippie movement. The next stanza seems like a conversation between her and the man. She wants to be part of the "movement" (for lack of a better term). The final stanza speaks of how Woodstock was a culmination for their entire movemtn. Everyone was happy. Happy peace lovers.

    The chorus is pretty self explanatory: we're made of the same stuff as stars and gold, billion year old carbon. "And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden" probably means something different for everyone.

    MrMojoRisin5552on April 10, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Joni wrote this song in one night, she wanted to go to woodstock but had her first tv interview the next morning and was unsure if she would be able to get out of there intime to appear on tv. verry dissapointed she had to watch the media and watch what she felt was one of the biggest events of her generation take place with her absence. crosby stills nash and young took a helicopter into woodstock and they made it out the next day and made it on time to the tv interview, joni said when she saw that they made it and she could have gone, her heart broke right there, she missed out and wrote this song out of her disapointment.

    hippyathearton April 22, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I lived through the worst years of the Cold War. I remember those ...bombers / Riding shotgun in the sky and waited. Songs like this turned our perceptions round, there was always hope. Hey! we got away with it! We still gotta get back to the garden, but many of us are genuinely trying. Like Joni, I never made it to Woodstock. I was in short trousers and England at the time, but songs like this take me there any time I want.

    Libraquariuson October 12, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    hippyatheart has it exactly

    prettylieson April 29, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I'm surprised there hasn't been more comments on this song.

    I didn't see a war. I didn't live through anything terrible. The thought of terrorism doesn't scare me one bit. But this song still gives me hope. For a sheltered girl such as myself, it sort of gave me a fantasy, a dream of something bigger than myself. The hippie movement pretty much accounts for everything that I have never been allowed to do/allowed to experience/allowed to imagine. But this song liberated me in that I wanted to branch out, realizing how incredibly limited modern society is.

    I mean lets face it, there are no movements like the hippie movements anymore! There are no congregations like Woodstock. There is no campaign for loving your neighbour, or banding together for the commong purpose of peace. (At least not to a grand extent.) There is the internet, the rare protest, and mostly just disgrunted people doing nothing to turn this planet's state around. I would be a hypocrite to say that I myself have broken away from the pack and done something inspirational that would merit this song.

    Bottom line: This song brings back a time when people stood up for a belief with all their heart and soul, even if their faith lay only in love + music + maybe a few drugs along the way. Faith in anything is something the present day hugely lacks.

    britbachon August 09, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I wish I was at Woodstock.

    audioslave48195on August 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    nobody believes they can change the world anymore.

    chelseamorningon August 31, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I believe this song speaks to how small we are on the face of this Earth, yet at the same time we are powerful. We are of the earth and yet we seem to be more valuable than it.

    Getting back to the garden reminds me of trips to the grocery store. Every time I see how far removed the eating experience is from nature, I am saddened. We do not live in harmony with nature anymore.

    I also see getting back to the garden as the innocence that is said to be in the garden of eden, similar to that of a child.

    AmberBon July 18, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    I find this song very interesting. Its naive hope that if enough of us join together "in song and celebration," we actually can turn the bombers into butterflies and "get ourselves back to the garden." I love the view of human beings as "golden" and "stardust." Instead of being burdened with Original Sin, we carry within us "billion year old carbon." As the Desiderata says, "You are a child of the universe," and as such "have a right to be here" and, I think, a right to be happy.

    Cleverwitchon May 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    @ Cleverwitch, We not only carry within us "billion year old carbon". We ARE "billion year old carbon" Carl Sagan told me so :)

    funk49on October 03, 2010   Link

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