Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Like Icarus Ascending on Beautiful Foolish Arms

I've suddenly found myself listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell lately. Her new album, Shine, as well as Herbie Hancock's The Joni Letters (a collection of covers with guest singers including Tina Turner) has found me going back over her earlier music.

My ex was a huge fan, he could play a lot of her stuff on the guitar. We both had an affinity for her song, Amelia; a piece that is all about the call of the open road, the tragedy of love gone wrong, and the mystery of a woman who seemed to vanish.

Below is the video for Amelia from 1980's Shadows and Light.


I was driving across the burning desert
When I spotted six jet planes
Leaving six white vapor trails across the bleak terrain
It was the hexagram of the heavens
It was the strings of my guitar
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

The drone of flying engines
Is a song so wild and blue
It scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
Then your life becomes a travelogue
Of picture-post-card-charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

People will tell you where theyve gone
Theyll tell you where to go
But till you get there yourself you never really know
Where some have found their paradise
Others just come to harm
Oh amelia, it was just a false alarm

I wish that he was here tonight
Its so hard to obey
His sad request of me to kindly stay away
So this is how I hide the hurt
As the road leads cursed and charmed
I tell amelia, it was just a false alarm

A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea, like me she had a dream to fly
Like icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

Maybe Ive never really loved
I guess that is the truth
Ive spent my whole life in clouds at icy altitude
And looking down on everything
I crashed into his arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm

I pulled into the cactus tree motel
To shower off the dust
And I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust
I dreamed of 747s
Over geometric farms
Dreams, amelia, dreams and false alarms

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