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 Comments Add yours

  1. Strange lyrics, “Red water in the bathroom sink Fever and the scum brown bowl”, but a lovely song.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      It has something to do with heroin use.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. badfinger20 says:

    Nice song Lisa… this one I’ve never heard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      She’s done so many that never got air time that are beautiful. Glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. badfinger20 says:

        Yes and I made a vow that this year I would listen to more….I have listened to some of Court and Spark but I need to listen to more.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. msjadeli says:

          Miles of Aisles is like a best of… and live. It was my first Joni album back in the late 70s.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. badfinger20 says:

            Thank you…I need suggestions so I will go there. I like her titles.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. msjadeli says:

              You’re welcome. Yes she has a lot of good ones.

              Liked by 1 person

  3. hanspostcard says:

    Enjoying your collages Lisa- and of course you can’t go wrong with Joni!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      Thanks Hans! I spent the day checking on cats in GR and then bringing a little furbaby home to keep Mlady company. Right now they are separated. Hoping it works out between them 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. memadtwo says:

    I love this album…it is very underrated. “Banquet” is the song that gets me in the gut, but they are all great. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. msjadeli says:

      I’ve got that album but haven’t listened to it much. Just listened on youtube. Her lyrics are such poetry. Maybe I need to listen to it more. She’s up there with the greats.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.