Song Lyrics

The Sire Of Sorrow (Job's Sad Song)

by Joni Mitchell

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Let me speak let me spit out my bitterness
Born of grief and nights without sleep and festering flesh
Do you have eyes?
Can you see like mankind sees?
Why have you soured and curdled me?
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

Once I was blessed; I was awaited like the rain
Like eyes for the blind, like feet for the lame
Kings heard my words, and they sought out my company
But now the janitors of Shadowland flick their brooms at me
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
that you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

(Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow)
I've lost all taste for life
I'm all complaints
Tell me why do you starve the faithful?
Why do you crucify the saints?
And you let the wicked prosper
You let their children frisk like deer
And my loves are dead or dying, or they don't come near
(Antagonists: We don't despise your chastening
God is correcting you)

Oh and look who comes to counsel my deep distress
Oh, these pompous physicians
What carelessness!
(Antagonists: Oh all this ranting all this wind
Filling our ears with trash)
Breathtaking ignorance adding insult to injury!
they come blaming and shaming
(Antagonists: Evil doer)
And shattering me
(Antagonists: This vain man wishes to seem wise
A man born of asses)
Oh you tireless watcher! What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?

(Antagonists: We don't despise your chastening)
Already on a bed of sighs and screams
And still you torture me with visions
You give me terrifying dreams!
Better I was carried from the womb straight to the grave
I see the diggers waiting, they're leaning on their spades

(Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow
Sure as the sparks ascend)
Where is hope while you're wondering what went wrong?
Why give me light and then this dark without a dawn?
(Antagonists: Evil is sweet in your mouth
Hiding under your tongue)
Show your face!
(Antagonists: What a long fall from grace)
Help me understand!
What is the reason for your heavy hand?
(Antagonists: You're stumbling in shadows
You have no name now)
Was it the sins of my youth?
What have I done to you?
That you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true?
(Antagonists: Oh your guilt must weigh so greatly)
Everything I dread and everything I fear come true
(Antagonists: Man is the sire of sorrow)
Oh you make everything I dread and everything I fear come true

© 1994; Crazy Crow Music


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AnnLoweDavis on

Read the book of Job, preferably a bible written in the King James version. In my romanticized view... Joni glanced at the book of Job, fully empathized with Job's trial of physical, mental and emotional suffering, along with the loss of his family, wealth and status, and wrote this masterpiece. The lyrics mirror the verses of KJV in such a manner that understanding what can frequently be the difficult existence of everyman and everywoman becomes painfully clear to any who will simply look.

kiwi on

I've always understood this to be about her battle with Morgellons, a little-known illness that is typically seen as a co-infection with Lyme. Sufferers of this illness are plagued with unpleasant skin sensations, chronic fatigue, joint pain, and a host of other problems. It robs you of sleep, a normal life, and unfortunately, doctors have not historically been kind to Morgellons sufferers.

These lyrics speak directly to the torments of this disease and to the suffering that is compounded by unknowledgeable physicians. It probably takes someone who suffers from the disease to truly understand and appreciate these lyrics, I would imagine.

AaronWexley on

Joni Mitchell's literary exegesis in "Job's Sad Song", is an outstanding analysis, of a biblical text. Wherein she investigates this Biblical issue in a modern classification of words and music in her own literary genre. I find present in both texts.
Aaron Wexley (nom de plume) is also the author of ("The Creator" (c)1993/4 in Scaling The Face Of Reason) dedicated to Joni Mitchell.  [ed.]

adrianamkh on

I think Joni's brilliance is elegantly simple. Tales of life and love, heartache and trauma, beauty and ecstasy. Blended with some monumental biblical events and breathtaking history, her stories put to music are masterpieces.

cyclerider on

I've been listening to this a lot lately. It's seven minutes of pure brilliance. Nobody writes lyrics like Joni!
There are so many crisp, clear images in here that I'd have a hard time choosing a favorite but I love "And you let the wicked prosper/you let their children frisk like deer." How does she come up with this stuff?

danno on

i often wonder what inspired this song.
i don't know which one i like better, the original or the travelogue version.
i had a ford probe in the mid 90s - a hot car - and when turbulent indigo came out i would drive it up into the hills, park it facing an empty corn field and blast this song as loud as it would go without distorting it completely. i would try to sing along with it as loud as i could... many hoarse throats back then as this song is a Catharsis, a purging of the pain body.

cynthiamcg on

dear joni, your songs from heart, raise my heart, and have for many years. we suffer, I still suffer but we are no longer stilled by it. Your song moves us so eloquently, as if someone knows we still matter.
Your song rings loud with the way I feel. You express what I stutter to shout, and yet soft singing it with healing highlights of your voice. Sing soft as you remind me of who i am, who i was, I was always woman strong, before morgellons,now I am woman strong again! Thank you for singing out loud.
"I do not love the skin I am in!" as we journey "I refound my fine".."singing along with sister joni's song..,healing on down the line."(my song).thankyou joni mitchell from cynthia mcguinn