Song Lyrics

Song To A Seagull

by Joni Mitchell

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Fly silly seabird
No dreams can possess you
No voices can blame you
For sun on your wings
My gentle relations
Have names they must call me
For loving the freedom
Of all flying things
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I came to the city
And lived like old Crusoe
On an island of noise
In a cobblestone sea
And the beaches were concrete
And the stars paid a light bill
And the blossoms hung false
On their store window trees
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

Out of the city
And down to the seaside
To sun on my shoulders
And wind in my hair
But sandcastles crumble
And hunger is human
And humans are hungry
For worlds they can't share
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

I call to a seagull
Who dives to the waters
And catches his silver-fine
Dinner alone
Crying where are the footprints
That danced on these beaches
And the hands that cast wishes
That sunk like a stone
My dreams with the seagulls fly
Out of reach out of cry

© 1966 Gandalf Publishing Co.

Footnotes to Song To A Seagull

Joni's introduction to the song at the White Swan in Leicester, England on September 16, 1967:

Maybe if you were raised in a small town in the country, and you were suddenly uprooted and planted in a big city… at first it was wonderful and there were all sorts of things like escalators and elevators and supermarkets and the corner discotheque and buses and taxis and double-decker red buses. But maybe one day you wake up and there’s soot on your window ledge and you’ve just dusted it off the day before and, I don’t know that this happens here, but I woke up one day and looked out my window down into the street and they’d put plastic plants in my planter. That was sort of the last straw so… being very romantic I said “well then I guess I’m just going to have to leave this city with its plastic plants and its dust on the window ledge. Maybe I’ll go off into the woods and become a hermit and be very independent and live off the land and eat wild raspberries and strawberries and Saskatoon berries, and be as free as a proverbial bird.”

Guitar Transcriptions of Song To A Seagull

Song To A Seagull has been recorded by 17 others

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