Song Lyrics

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

by Joni Mitchell

play
Printer-friendly version of this lyric

When Charlie speaks of Lester
You know someone great has gone
The sweetest swinging music man
Had a Porkie Pig hat on
A bright star
In a dark age
When the bandstands had a thousand ways
Of refusing a black man admission
Black musician
In those days they put him in an
Underdog position
Cellars and chitlins'

When Lester took him a wife
Arm and arm went black and white
And some saw red
And drove them from their hotel bed
Love is never easy
It's short of the hope we have for happiness
Bright and sweet
Love is never easy street!
Now we are black and white
Embracing out in the lunatic New York night
It's very unlikely we'll be driven out of town
Or be hung in a tree
That's unlikely!

Tonight these crowds
Are happy and loud
Children are up dancing in the streets
In the sticky middle of the night
Summer serenade
Of taxi horns and fun arcades
Where right or wrong
Under neon
Every feeling goes on!
For you and me
The sidewalk is a history book
And a circus
Dangerous clowns
Balancing dreadful and wonderful perceptions
They have been handed
Day by day
Generations on down

We came up from the subway
On the music midnight makes
To Charlie's bass and Lester's saxophone
In taxi horns and brakes
Now Charlie's down in Mexico
With the healers
So the sidewalk leads us with music
To two little dancers
Dancing outside a black bar
There's a sign up on the awning
It says "Pork Pie Hat Bar"
And there's black babies dancing
Tonight

© 1978-1979; Crazy Crow Music

Related articles from the Library

Piano Transcriptions of Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat has been recorded by 80 other artists

  • A Celebration of Joni Mitchell (from "Live at The Lobero" - )
  • Aeon (from "Aeon" - 1998)
  • Agnes Heginger & Georg Breinschmid (from "Bonus CD Vol.2" - 2016)
  • Agrama, Natasha  (from "The Heart Of Infinite Change" - 2014)
  • Akihary, Monica  (from "Above the Clouds, Among the Roots " - 2000)
  • Alho, Kirsti (from "There Was A Rose" - 2001)
  • Anthony, Bruce (from "Jazz & Pop" - 1997)
  • Biagini, Ilaria  (from "Freedom" - 2013)
  • Big Band Reunion Featuring Janet Planet (from "Frank's Place" - 1999)
  • Bimbi, Stefania (- )
  • Blouin, Johanne (from "Everything Must Change" - 2000)
  • Bricker, Pam (from "U-Topia" - 2000)
  • Brigitte Bader & Johnny Griffin  (from "Passion, No Future, But Love " - )
  • Che, Kelly (from "Collage" - 2014)
  • Chief Noda (- )
  • Cordelia (from "Cordelia" - 2004)
  • Cordes Sensibles (from "Invitation" - 2003)
  • Cossu, Barbara (- 2013)
  • Cressman, Natalie (from "Unfolding" - 2012)
  • Davis, Florence (- 2011)
  • Emma Lee and Ben Cohen  (from "I wished for you" - )
  • Esther Alfonso & Augusto Baez  (from "Coming From 50's" - 2016)
  • Evelyn Gramel & Thomas Brendgens-Mönkemeyer (from "On a Clear Day" - 2017)
  • Fabio Ranza & Elisabetta Zamberlan (from "Be Cool" - 2002)
  • Fehling, Annika (from "JazzFehlings" - 1996)
  • Fisher, Cheryl (from "Cheryl Fisher Live In Concert - God Bless The Child " - 2001)
  • Giulia Galliani MAG Collective (from "Song For Joni" - 2018)
  • Gómez, Guadalupe  (from "lluvia" - 2018)
  • Gre, Amalia  (from "Digital Single" - 2019)
  • Haberkamp, Clara (- )
  • Hatton, Laura  (- 2012)
  • Helm, Lenora Zenzalai (from "I Love Myself When I'm Laughing" - 2011)
  • Jason Jenkins Quartet (from "Just Hearsay" - 2008)
  • Jeutter, Ute (from "Eclipse" - 2005)
  • Jim Shearer & Charlie Wood (from "The Memphis Hang" - 2008)
  • João, Maria & Mário Laginha (from "Chocolate" - 2008)
  • Klüvers Big Band  (from "Jasmine" - 1993)
  • Ku-Umba Frank Lacy & Mingus Big Band (from "Mingus Sings" - 2015)
  • Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble & Jazz Singers (from "Inceptions" - 1996)
  • LRK Trio (- )
  • Lupa (from "House Of Blue " - 2005)
  • Lyambiko (from "Muse" - 2015)
  • Mann, Debra (from "Full Circle: The Music of Joni Mitchell" - 2018)
  • Marieke Schuurs & The Eugene Jazz Collective (from "Marieke" - 2018)
  • Matveeva, Angelica  (from "Vocalese" - 2015)
  • Małgorzata Zuber Quartet (- 2017)
  • Meza, Camila (from "Retrato" - 2009)
  • Minako Yoshida & Kazumi Watanabe (from "Nowadays" - 2008)
  • Mingunos (from "Cumulus Mingus" - 2017)
  • Mingus Big Band (from "Live at Jazz Standard" - 2010)
  • Minton, Tara (- 2020)
  • Murphy, Mark (from "Jazz Standards" - 1998)
  • Murphy, Mark (from "Bop For Miles" - 2004)
  • Nadja Stoller Trio (from "Once Upon A Summer Time" - 2002)
  • Norbert Gottschalk & Frank Haunschild (from "The Art Of A Duo (Favorite Songs)" - 2007)
  • Ogre (from "Electrodomestico" - 2012)
  • Pavolka, Akiko (from "House of Illusion" - 1998)
  • Puglia, Lara (from "Heart and Mind: Tribute to Joni Mitchell " - 2014)
  • Puoane, Tutu (from "The Joni Mitchell Project - Tutu Puoane Sings Joni Mitchell Live" - 2017)
  • Rendell, Don (from "What Am I Here For?" - 1996)
  • Ring, Milan (- 2012)
  • Rita Maria & Filipe Raposo (from "Live in Oslo" - 2018)
  • Robin Adler & Mutts of the Planet (- 2016)
  • RP Quartet (from "Chicken Do It" - 2016)
  • Salleh, Anna  (from "A Felicidade" - 2012)
  • Saxkartel (from "Yellow Sounds and Other Colours" - 2007)
  • Shaw, Ian (from "Ghostsongs" - 1992)
  • Svobodova, Eva (from "Fine & Mellow" - 1996)
  • Teianu, Rudy  (from "Don't Explain" - 2004)
  • Téli, Márta  (from "Smiling" - 1998)
  • Teychené, Virginie  (from "Bright And Sweet" - 2012)
  • The Fondue Set (from "Down to the Rind" - 2013)
  • The Jazz Circle (from "Joshua" - 2006)
  • Tschantret, Stefania  (from "Love For Sale" - 2010)
  • Tsugume (from "Blackbird" - 2017)
  • Tutti Baê & Liliana Bollos (from "Bossas, Jazz e Sambas" - 2019)
  • Walker, Sally (from "Got the World on a String" - 2003)
  • Wang, Shanley (from "Consept" - 2007)
  • Wolfe, Ada Bird  (from "Birdie" - 2018)
  • Wroblewsky, Pascal von  (from "Speak Low" - 1995)
  • [more information on recordings by other artists]

Comments on Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

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

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