Joni Mitchell: You turn me on I’m a radio

Way back in 1972, Joni Mitchell introduced her brand-new song to the audience like this:

“You see, I’ve never had a hit, so I decided that…”  (Awww!) “No I haven’t, I haven’t had a hit, I mean, I”  (I haven’t had a hit!)  “(laughs) I haven’t had a chance to, like, watch any, like… I, I get subscriptions to Billboard and Cashbox, you know? And, uh, I don’t take them out of their rolls, I use them to start my fireplace up North.”  (laughter)  “They just sort of pile up. But um… it is kind of fun, every once in a while, to watch my friends watching their, their records race up the charts, you know. It’s sort of like, like going out to the race track, you know?” (laughter)

So I decided that, you know, I would like a crack at it, so I sat down andI was in a very sensitive place, you must understand, but at the same time I thought, well, I’ll, I’ll channel, I’ll channel all the sensitivity into a little commerciality.”  (laughter)

So I said, ok, what appeals to DJs? Radios appeal to DJs! So…” (applause) “with that in mind, I constructed this little ditty.”  (laughter)

Jodelling Joni. Amusing muse. Stellar storyteller.

(I’ve highlighted the content words. But we do say so many others to fill in the spaces.)

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you

Oh honey you turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wildwood flower
Waving for you
Broadcasting tower
Waving for you

And I’m sending you out
This signal here
I hope you can pick it up
Loud and clear
I know you  don’t like weak women
You get bored so quick
And you don’t like strong women
‘Cause they’re hip to your tricks

It’s been dirty for dirty
Down the line
But you know
I come when you whistle
When you’re loving and kind

But if you’ve got too many doubts
If there’s no good reception for me
Then tune me out, ’cause honey
Who needs the static
It hurts the head
And you wind up cracking
And the day goes dismal

From Breakfast Barney
To the sign-off prayer
What a sorry face you get to wear
I’m gonna tell you again now
If you’re still listening there

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you

If you’re lying on the beach
With the transistor going
Kick off the sandflies,
Honey, the love’s still flowing

If your head says forget it
But your heart’s still smoking
Call me at the station
The lines are open!

© Joni Mitchell 1972

song week :-) learning english with songwriters

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Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

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