Song Lyrics

Strong and Wrong

by Joni Mitchell

play
Printer-friendly version of this lyric

Strong and wrong you win--
Only because
That's the way its always been.
Men love war!
That's what history' s for.
History...
A mass--murder mystery...
His story

Strong and wrong
You lose everything
Without the heart
You need
To hear a robin sing
Where have all the songbirds gone?
Gone!
All I hear are crows in flight
Singing might is right
Might is right!

Oh the dawn of man comes slow
Thousands of years
And here we are...
Still worshiping
Our own ego

Strong and wrong
What is God's will?
Onward Christian soldiers...
Or thou shall not kill...
Men love war!
Is that what God is for?
Just a Rabbit's foot?
Just a lucky paw
For shock and awe?
Shock and awe!

The dawn of man comes slow
Thousands of years
Here we are
Still worshiping
Our own ego
Strong and Wrong!
Strong and Wrong!

© 2007; Crazy Crow Music

Footnotes to Strong and Wrong

As told to Dan Ouellette:

This was one of the last songs written for the album. Originally I had a different syncopation to the melody. I wrote it instrumentally, like I did with all the other songs on the album. At first I was going to keep it as an instrumental and use it as a hidden track. There was such a spontaneous beauty to the melody, and I had a hard time getting beyond the "breaking away'"phrase I was thinking of when I was looking for lyrics.

The words came to me after seeing a National Geographic documentary on the gnostic gospels where two of the experts agreed that Jesus was easily amused and had a childlike sense of humor. They based that assertion on a passage about Jesus in a black robe laughing his head off at his disciples. Behind the scenes of the show, the two experts ended up getting into a bitter dispute, which spoke to me about what that scene is all about anyway: Jesus seeing his disciples worshipping their own egos. He's laughing at their foolishness.

So, the song is talking about Christianity worshipping egos, like [President George W.] Bush saying that he talked with God last night. I see it as him having a little chat with his ego. Then there are the men loving war, like Jesus Camp [the documentary film about the evangelical church summer camp that espouses teaching children to be members of the "army of God"]. It's a militant camp where 3-year-olds are being told to stand up for God. It's terrifying. To me, it's the most nonspiritual warp of Christianity to date.

Comments on Strong and Wrong

Comment using your Facebook profile, or by registering at this site.

You must be registered and log in to add a permanently indexed comment.

Facebook comments