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Coloring Club Plus (collage) — 10/15/19

Butterflies and Bees

For the Roses is the fifth studio album by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, released in November 1972, between her two biggest commercial and critical successes – Blue and Court and Spark. Despite this, in 2007 it was one of 25 recordings chosen that year by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. It is Mitchell’s first, and so far only, album to accomplish this feat.

It is perhaps best known for the hit single “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio”, which Mitchell wrote sarcastically out of a record company request for a radio-friendly song. The single was indeed a hit, reaching #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, becoming Mitchell’s first top 40 hit released under her own name (as a songwriter, several other performers had had hits with songs that she had written).

“Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire” is a menacing and jazzy portrait of a heroin addict.

This version is the one I know best, from Miles of Aisles (1974), live at Pine Knob.

 

Cold blue steel out of money
One eye for the beat police
Sweet Fire calling
“You can’t deny me
Now you know what you need”
Underneath the jungle gym
Hollow grey fire escape thief
Looking for sweet fire
Shadow of lady release

“Come with me
I know the way” she says
“It’s down, down, down the dark ladder
Do you want to contact somebody first
Leave someone a letter
You can come now
Or you can come later”

A wristwatch, a ring, a downstairs screamer
Edgy-black cracks of the sky
“Pin cushion prick fix this poor bad dreamer”
“Money” cold shadows reply
Pawnshops crisscrossed and padlocked
Corridors spit on prayers and pleas
Sparks fly up from sweet fire
Black soot of lady release

“Come with me
I know the way” she says
“It’s down, down, down the dark ladder
Do you want to contact somebody first
Does it really matter
If you come now
Or if you come on later?”

Red water in the bathroom sink
Fever and the scum brown bowl
Blue steel still begging
But it’s indistinct
Someone’s hi-fi drumming Jelly Roll
Concrete concentration camp
Bashing in veins for peace
Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire
Fall into Lady Release

“Come with me
I know the way” she says
“It’s down, down, down the dark ladder
Do you want to contact somebody first
I mean what does it really matter
You’re going to come now
Or you’re going to come later”

13 thoughts on “Coloring Club Plus (collage) — 10/15/19

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