Song Lyrics

Michael From Mountains

by Joni Mitchell

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Michael wakes you up with sweets
He takes you up streets and the rain comes down
Sidewalk markets locked up tight
And umbrellas bright on a grey background
There's oil on the puddles in taffeta patterns
That run down the drain
In colored arrangements
That Michael will change with a stick that he found

Michael from mountains
Go where you will go to
Know that I will know you
Someday I may know you very well

Michael brings you to a park
He sings and its dark when the clouds come by
Yellow slickers up on swings
Like puppets on strings hanging in the sky
They'll splash home to suppers in wallpapered kitchens
Their mothers will scold
But Michael will hold you
To keep away cold till the sidewalks are dry

Michael from mountains
Go where you will go to
Know that I will know you
Someday I may know you very well

Michael leads you up the stairs
He needs you to care and you know you do
Cats come crying to the key
And dry you will be in a towel or two
There's rain in the window
There's sun in the painting that smiles on the wall
You want to know all
But his mountains have called so you never do

Michael from mountains
Go where you will go to
Know that I will know you
Someday I may know you very well

© September 1, 1967; Gandalf Pub Co, then April 1, 1968; Siquomb Publishing Co


Joni introduced the song this way in late 1967:

"Well, I... The same day that I discovered Dr. Junk the Dentist Man, I also discovered what I call a North Carolina tuning because it was uncovered or discovered in NC. Finding this chord was a major musical breakthrough 'cause... Well, one of the reasons I play all in open tunings is because I could never make a good F chord and, uh, (strums) I've always avoided all F's at all cost. And this is an F 9th tuning. Life is full of falling into love and falling out of love, and sometimes when... when things go wrong and love evaporates, it leaves you empty and with nothing and makes you very bitter. Sometimes when love leaves, it leaves really more than it takes away, and that's what this song is all about. It's called "Michael from the Mountains".

Transcriptions of Michael From Mountains

Michael From Mountains has been recorded by 41 other artists

  • Aleksandra Popovska & Zoli Soos (from "Dandelions (Tribute to Joni Mitchell)" - 2024)
  • Andrews, Julie (- 1969)
  • Arthur, Pat (from "As Cosy As An Irish Pub " - 1977)
  • Averill, Sue (from "Goodnight, ukulele" - 2021)
  • Bernay, Laura (from "Éclectique" - 2012)
  • Blaquiere, Debra  (from "Getting To Know Me" - 2001)
  • Bobby & I (from "Bobby & I" - 1968)
  • Caputo, Valeria (- )
  • Collins, Judy (from "Wildflowers" - 1968)
  • Colter, Trish & Paul Reed (from "The Dance Never Ends" - 1997)
  • Copland, Marc (from "Alone" - 2009)
  • Ebsen, Kiki (from "Kiki Ebsen Cool Songs, Vol. 2 - The Music of Joni Mitchell" - 2017)
  • Finley, Denise Jordan (from "Company Wife" - 1986)
  • Fox, Lauren (from "Love, Lust, Fear & Freedom: The Songs of Joni Mitchell & Leonard Cohen" - 2013)
  • Freund, James C  (from "Both Sides Now : The Softer Sound of the '60's" - 2003)
  • Geraldine (from "Geraldine" - 1971)
  • Hartman, JoAnne (from "and Her Name is JoAnne" - )
  • Howard, John (from "Songs For A Lifetime E.P." - 2009)
  • Irelan, David (- )
  • Jenoure, Terry (from "Promises" - 2004)
  • Kennedy, Brian (from "A Love Letter To Joni" - 2013)
  • Knittel, Kathy (from "Digital Single" - 2015)
  • LaManna, Steve (from "Measured Softness, Measured Light" - 1997)
  • Leora Cashe & The Ross Taggart Trio  (from "Another Side Now - The Songs of Joni Mitchell" - 2007)
  • Linda and Tim (from "a breath of air" - )
  • Losey, Elaine Merrill (from "Heartfelt Connections" - 2004)
  • MacNeil, Madeline (from "The Lone Wild Bird" - 1993)
  • Mendis, Melody (- )
  • Moscow, Annie (from "Visible" - 2007)
  • Repairs (from "Already A Household Word" - 1971)
  • Repairs (from "Repairs Live" - 1974)
  • Ringen, Tone  (from "Kvilestein" - 1973)
  • Silver, Wood and Ivory (from "Wander In " - 2002)
  • Simon, Fred  (from "Songs Of My Youth, Volume 1" - 2000)
  • Situm, Steve (from "Good Morning" - )
  • Sue & Sunny (from "Sue and Sunny" - 1970)
  • Szabo, Gabor  (from "1969" - 1969)
  • Tincher, Jeff (from "All I Want" - 2015)
  • Titus, Libby (from "Libby Titus" - )
  • Volker Niehusmann & Christiane Weber (from "Another Blue" - 1997)
  • White Rose (from "It's A Long Time" - 1975)
  • [more information on recordings by other artists]


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Apoena on

Tô George: I guess the house kitties came "meaw" as they arrived, attracted by the keys sound. Descriptive poetry sometimes.

georgecobbold on

Great, simple, guitar work here. Does anyone know what "Cats come crying to the key" means? Is it something to do with other men? XX

suzylizette on

In the book, Girls Like Us - Chapter Eight - It says Michael was a musician from Colorado named Michael Durbin who was playing in a group at the club, called the Trauma.

pdxrooster on

quick question who was Michael? I was told that it was me. my mother was Bettylou brewer and I'm sorry to say that she passed on 120509