Song Lyrics

The Last Time I Saw Richard

by Joni Mitchell

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The last time I saw Richard was Detroit in '68
And he told me all romantics meet the same fate someday
Cynical and drunk and boring someone in some dark café
You laugh he said you think you're immune
Go look at your eyes they're full of moon
You like roses and kisses and pretty men to tell you
All those pretty lies pretty lies
When you gonna realize they're only pretty lies
Only pretty lies just pretty lies

He put a quarter in the Wurlitzer and he pushed
Three buttons and the thing began to whirr
And a bar maid came by in fishnet stockings and a bow tie
And she said "Drink up now it's getting' on time to close"
"Richard, you haven't really changed" I said
It's just that now you're romanticizing some pain that's in your head
You got tombs in your eyes but the songs you punched are dreaming
Listen, they sing of love so sweet, love so sweet
When you gonna get yourself back on your feet?
Oh and love can be so sweet Love so sweet

Richard got married to a figure skater
And he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolator
And he drinks at home now most nights with the TV on
And all the house lights left up bright
I'm gonna blow this damn candle out
I don't want nobody comin' over to my table
I got nothing to talk to anybody about
All good dreamers pass this way some day
Hidin' behind bottles in dark cafes dark cafes
Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away
Only a phase these dark café days

© 1970; Joni Mitchell

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Noe Berengena on

After a minute-long orchestral intro Joni appears in the most intimate way. It's as if she's speaking to you from across a small table at a level just above sotto voce. It's just you and Joni, and you feel damn lucky that she's telling you another wonderfully bittersweet story. One that evokes memories of an earlier time in our country's history. Back when idealism was still something you did not have to be apologetic about. God bless Joni Mitchell for always!

MissUSchelly on

This song could be a much going on described perfectly. Love the live version from Miles of Aisles. She's a genius "Richard got married to a figure skater and he bought her a dishwasher and a coffee percolater". OMG every word matters and the message is clear- she shows her contempt for him as a sell-out.

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