Song Lyrics

I Don't Know Where I Stand

by Joni Mitchell

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Funny day, looking for laughter and finding it there
Sunny day, braiding wild flowers and leaves in my hair
Picked up a pencil and wrote "I love you" in my finest hand
Wanted to send it, but I don't know where I stand

Telephone, even the sound of your voice is still new
All alone in California and talking to you
And feeling too foolish and strange to say the words that I had planned
I guess it's too early, 'cause I don't know where I stand

Crickets call, courting their ladies in star-dappled green
Thickets tall, until the morning comes up like a dream
All muted and misty, so drowsy now I'll take what sleep I can
I know that I miss you, but I don't know where I stand
I know that I miss you, but I don't know where I stand

© 1969; Siquomb Publishing Company

Footnotes to I Don't Know Where I Stand

Joni introduced the song this way on September 16, 1967 at the Second Fret:

“As you’ve probably noticed, folk music in America right now is fairly close to pop music. You can hardly separate the two. Most of the people who are in the large rock-and-roll groups – the Mamas and the Papas – are all ex-folk singers and they’ve given their folk styling to contemporary music over there. Most of the folk singers like myself – I suppose it’s a little bit unusual after listening to what’s happening here with all the traditional music, which I love very dearly and which isn’t happening in America – I hope I’m not frightening you.

“This is a song that I wrote in North Carolina the same day that I discovered Dr. Junk the Dentist Man; and I discovered this new tuning which is an F9 tuning, for those of you who like tunings. It’s my very own, I think, and if you want to know how to do it I’ll tell you. You take the first string down four half-tones; you take the second string down two half-tones; you leave the G string alone; you take the fourth string down two half-tones; the fifth string down four; and the bass up one. So it’s down four, two, don’t touch it, two, four, up one. And it’s a magical tuning because even discords sound great in it. This is a song about North Carolina – North Carolina crickets. There’s a trumpet solo in it, too...“

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