Joni Mitchell on “When Free is Not Enough”

A faith­ful read­er sent in lyrics that seemed quite apro­pos to Ed’s piece yes­ter­day on free music in the sub­way. Let’s post them. (Thanks John.)

Real Good for Free
©1974 by Joni Mitchell

I slept last night in the Fair­mont Hotel
I went shop­ping today for jew­els
Wind rushed around in the dirty town
And the chil­dren let out from the schools

I was stand­ing on the noisy cor­ner
I was wait­ing for the walk­ing green
Across the street he stood and he played real good
On his clar­inet for free

Now me, I play for for­tune
And those vel­vet cur­tain calls
I got a black lim­ou­sine and six­teen gen­tle­men
Escort­ing me to these halls

And I play if you have the mon­ey
Or if you’re some kind of friend to me
But the one man band by the quick lunch stand
He was play­ing real good for free

Nobody stopped to hear him
Though he played so sweet and high
They knew he’d nev­er been on their TV
So they passed his good music by

I meant to go over to him and ask for a song
Maybe put on some kind of har­mo­ny
I heard his refrain as that sig­nal changed
He was play­ing real good, for free.

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