Song Lyrics

Ladies Of The Canyon

by Joni Mitchell

Printer-friendly version of this lyric

Trina wears her wampum beads
She fills her drawing book with line
Sewing lace on widows' weeds
And filigree on leaf and vine
Vine and leaf are filigree
And her coat's a secondhand one
Trimmed with antique luxury
She is a lady of the canyon

Annie sits you down to eat
She always makes you welcome in
Cats and babies 'round her feet
And all are fat and none are thin
None are thin and all are fat
She may bake some brownies today
Saying you are welcome back
She is another canyon lady

Estrella circus girl
Comes wrapped in songs and gypsy shawls
Songs like tiny hammers hurled
At beveled mirrors in empty halls
Empty halls and beveled mirrors
Sailing seas and climbing banyans
Come out for a visit here
To be a lady of the canyon

Trina takes her paints and her threads
And she weaves a pattern all her own
Annie bakes her cakes and her breads
And she gathers flowers for her home
For her home she gathers flowers
And Estrella dear companion
Colors up the sunshine hours
Pouring music down the canyon
Coloring the sunshine hours
They are the ladies of the canyon

© July 31, 1968; Siquomb Publishing Corp


The Ladies of the Canyon speak...

Yes, the three Ladies of the Canyon are real people.
We've tracked them down and they've agreed to share their stories with us.

Estrella Berosini  [visit her website]
The Song
   Estrella talks about the lines of the song.
Growing up in the Circus
   Yes, she really was a circus girl...
A Child Came Out To Wander
   Estrella tells the story of the night she met Joni.
Dawntreaders And The Captain Of Dreams
   Estrella makes David Crosby really listen to Joni.
Ladies Of The Canyon, And Other Unexpected Miracles
   Joni performs the song for Estrella
The Secret Songs Of A Lifetime and the Magic Dragon's Lair
   Estrella meets Joel Bernstein through Joni

Trina Robbins  [more info]
The Song
   Trina talks about the lines of the song.
Trina on Trina
   Trina answers questions about then and now.

Annie Burden
Thoughts on the song and time
   Annie shares her thoughts
She may bake some brownies today...
   Annie's brownie recipe

Transcriptions of Ladies Of The Canyon

Ladies Of The Canyon has been recorded by 9 other artists


Log in to make a comment

WoodstockChild69 on

It's interesting to read about the three women who inspired this song! What an honor for them to have a song written by one of the great singer-songwriters in history. I never knew that they actually existed until now!

betsyfromtexas on

The stories behind this (song)story is fantastic! What a gift for those who worship the Poetess!

sweetdissident on

This is my favorite page on the site so far; I love reading the background stories from the original "Canyon Ladies." Beautifully done. This song is so magical to me, and to have so much information about its genesis has been very pleasing. I love this song.