Mitchell, Joni - The Only Joy In Town Lyrics




I want to paint a picture
Botticelli style
Instead of Venus on a clam
I'd paint this flower child
"You are the air my flowers breathe"
He calls, and the ladies turn around
On the first day of Spring
I'm looking at the only joy around

He's the only joy around
The only joy I found
The only joy in town

The Spanish steps are crowded
Bunch of bodies brooding there
Dead pan side-walk vendors
Hustling vacant stares
Making all the more exceptional
This fool in a flower crown
On the first day of Spring
I'm looking at the only joy in town

He's the only joy around
The only joy I found
The only joy in town

The Botticelli black boy
With the fuchias in his hair
Is breathing in women like oxygen
On the Spanish stairs
In my youth I would have followed him
All through this terra-cotta town
On the first day of Spring
We'd dance and sing
And be the only joy around

We'd be the only joy around
The only joy in town
He's the only joy I've found
All day

At night these streets are empty
Where does everybody go
Where are the brash and tender rooms
In Roman candle glow
Where are Fellini's circus'
La Dolce Vita clowns
On the first day of Spring
I'm looking
At the only joy in town

He's the only joy around
The only joy I found
The only joy in town





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Mitchell, Joni The Only Joy In Town Comments
  1. Phil Thomas

    My favorite song from Night Ride Home. Joni sounds great and so does the band. Thanks for post.

  2. Shelby Nicholson

    This song shows the huge freedom an artist has when it comes to creating a canvas. And so the painter sets out to paint a fantasy of joy very persojnal to her. "I'm going to paint a picture...." Imagine this scenario, she's telling us. Now her Botticelli black boy says, "You are the air my flowers breathe." He calls and the ladies turn around On the first day of Spring I'm looking at the only joy around." The emphasis turns to "I." That's the painter, there to court and spark him.... The emphasis is on joy: In the third verse they're dancing and singing: "In my youth I would have followed him All through this terra-cotta town On the first day of Spring We'd dance and sing And be the only joy around...." In the fourth verse, "all the streets are empty...." It's just a fantasy. Her imagination is channelling her Beethoven, it could be argued. This isn't the only song Joni's written about paintings.... Consider Shadows and Light: "Every picture has its shadows, and it has some source of light...." That song is about blindness and sight....

  3. martin eclectic

    an artist in every way

  4. Anthony Fisher

    she is so sultry and verbal wow what a woman, and such a arthur of imagery, and she's really good at it, i'm still in love with her after 40 years, i'm now 55 and she is a major crush ,,after shadow and light i was in love with this woman's point of view of this world we share, love you joni, quit smoking love

  5. maha77

    At night these streets are empty
    Where does everybody go?
    Where are the brash and tender rooms
    In Roman candle glow
    Where are Fellini's circus'
    La Dolce Vita clowns
    On the first day of Spring
    I'm looking
    At the only joy around