Song Lyrics

My Old Man

by Joni Mitchell

play
Printer-friendly version of this lyric

My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
My old man
Keeping away my blues

He's my sunshine in the morning
He's my fireworks at the end of the day
He's the warmest chord I ever heard
Play that warm chord, play and stay baby
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
My old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

Then he comes home
And he takes me in his loving arms
And he tells me all his troubles
And he tells me all my charms
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
No, my old man
Keeping away my blues

But when he's gone
Me and them lonesome blues collide
The bed's too big
The frying pan's too wide

My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
No, my old man
Keeping away my lonesome blues

© 1970; Joni Mitchell

Footnotes to My Old Man

Joni's handwritten partial lyrics, a work in progress.

Joni Mitchell

Guitar Transcriptions of My Old Man

Piano Transcriptions of My Old Man

My Old Man has been recorded by 23 others

  • Alberstein, Chava  (- )
  • Beddini, Eleanora  (from "Doppio Gioco" - 2013) [buy at Amazon]
  • Douglas, Dave  (from "Moving Portrait" - 1998)
  • Eden, Joanna (from "Joni & Me" - 2016)
  • Elixir (from "First Seed Ripening" - 2011)
  • Hall, Kira (from "Not So Blue: Kira Sings Joni " - 2016)
  • Hersch, Fred (from "Let Yourself Go - Live at Jordan" - 1999)
  • Jahn, Ariane (- )
  • Kirke (from "Live Recording" - 1998)
  • Maggie Hollinbeck & Graham Sobelman (from "Another Shade Of Blue" - 2014)
  • Maria Pia De Vito (from "Jazz Italiano Live 2007" - 2007)
  • Nereide (from "Nereide sings Joni Mitchell" - 2010)
  • Nowosad, Curtis  (from "The Skeptic & the Cynic" - 2012)
  • Palivela, Bharathi  (from "UnderCover, Faultline Studios and Kalx Present: Joni Mitchell's Blue" - 2012)
  • Robin Adler & Mutts of the Planet (from "Joni Mitchell's Blue & Court And Spark - Live At Dizzy's" - 2011)
  • Sandbloom, Kevin (from "Sandbloom Still Blue" - 2011)
  • Skinner, Lynn (from "Lynnie Sings Joni: Snapshots from the Stage" - 2012)
  • Tartalia, Allison  (from "Joni Mitchell's Blue: a 40th Anniversary Celebration" - 2012)
  • The Butterbean Jazz Quartet (from "The Butterbean Jazz Quartet" - 2009)
  • Tutino, Lorenza  (- )
  • Wiernik, Barbara  (from "Soul of Butterflies" - 2009)
  • Wilborn, Steven (from "Revisited" - 2010)
  • Zwi, Savannah (- 2012)
  • [more information on recordings by other artists]

Comments on My Old Man

Comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering at this site.

You must be registered and log in to add a permanently indexed comment.

Gery on

At her 3 September 1970 concert at the BBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LoKBGotuNhc, Joni introduces this as a song "that isn't really finished ... it needs an extra verse", though without that intro you might not spot the differences from the recorded version. She adds "when I get home late at night, this is a song I really like to sing right now" ... watch her face light up when she sings "my old man ..." to appreciate why.

Facebook comments