Song Lyrics


by Joni Mitchell

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Jeremy sits in the sun and he stares at the stripes
On the floor from the bars on the door,
Thinking of rabbits he kept as a child
In a chicken wire cage; he remembers the rage
Of his father the night he made his one call;
The relative stranger who left him to fall
To the mercy of judges with no shield at all.
Now he sits and he stares at the punishing wall.

Jeremy picks up the crayon he saved and he
Writes in the dark and he thinks of the park
And the flower he gave to the girl with the bells.
He remembers her smile; it was gone at the trial.
Hear the footsteps of night guards patroling the halls.
There are coughers and talkers who don't sleep at all.
'Midst the curse words and worse words
That someone had scrawled
He writes her a poem on the punishing wall.

Mary, sweet Mary, it's dark and it's cold;
It's all of the stories you've ever been told.
Keep the jar on the window, keep the lock on the door.
Keep your mind on the man; keep away from the store.

Oh, Jeremy gentle, oh, Jeremy kind
As you walk with the thieves and the killers believe
That our numbers are growin'; the change has to come.
Put resentment aside; don't turn bitter and die.

© February 9, 1968; Siquomb Publishing Co

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