Song Lyrics

My Old Man

by Joni Mitchell

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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 22 others

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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.

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