Song Lyrics

Harry's House/Centerpiece

by Joni Mitchell

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Heatwaves on the runway
As the wheels set down
He takes his baggage off the carousel
He takes a taxi into town
Yellow schools of taxi fishes
Jonah in a ticking whale
Caught up at the light in the fishnet windows
Of Bloomingdale's
Watching those high fashion girls
Skinny black models with raveen curls
Beauty parlor blondes with credit card eyes
Looking for the chic and the fancy to buy

He opens up his suitcase
In the continental suite
And people twenty stories down
Colored currents in the street
A helicopter lands on the Pan Am roof
Like a dragonfly on a tomb
And business men in button downs
Press into conference rooms
Battalions of paper minded males
Talking commodities and sales
While at home their paper wives
And paper kids
Paper the walls to keep their gut reactions hid

Yellow checkers for the kitchen
Climbing ivy for the bath
She is lost in House and Gardens
He's caught up in Chief of Staff
He drifts off into the memory
Of the way she looked in school
With her body oiled and shining
At the public swimming pool ...

... Shining hair and shining skin
Shining as she reeled him in
To tell him like she did today
Just what he could do with Harry's House
And Harry's take home pay

© July 3, 1975; Crazy Crow Music


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NathanLaFraneer on

I love this song. It's one of my favorites from Hissing. Just one thing, it's "Thirty stories down" not "twenty stories down." Just to clarify!

heatherl on

This song breaks my heart. When I get angry at men, I think of Harry marching into that conference room with the other paper-minded males ... and I feel so sad for Harry. Men on business trips. Lonely women, lonely men.
Damn. Now I'm all trashed inside.
I'll go play Little Green.
Oh no.
No, I need some Edith and the Kingpin. Precise, intellectual, just what I need.

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