The Circle Game – Lyrics

The Circle Game

© Joni Mitchell

Yesterday, a child came out to wonder,
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder,
And tearful at the falling of a star

AND THE SEASONS, THEY GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND THE
PAINTED PONIES GO UP AND DOWN
WE’RE CAPTURED ON THE CAROUSEL OF TIME
WE CAN’T RETURN, WE CAN ONLY LOOK BEHIND FROM WHERE WE CAME
AND GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND IN THE CIRCLE GAME

Then the child moved ten times ‘round the seasons,
Skated over ten clear, frozen streams
Words like, “When you’re older,” must appease him and
Promises of someday make his dreams

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now,
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town, and they tell him
“Take your time, it won’t be long now ‘til you
Drag your feet to slow the circles down”

AND THE SEASONS, THEY GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND THE
PAINTED PONIES GO UP AND DOWN
WE’RE CAPTURED ON THE CAROUSEL OF TIME
WE CAN’T RETURN, WE CAN ONLY LOOK BEHIND FROM WHERE WE CAME
AND GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND IN THE CIRCLE GAME

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty (thirty, fifty, eighty)
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur comin’ true there’ll be
New dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty until the
Last revolving year is through

AND THE SEASONS, THEY GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND THE
PAINTED PONIES GO UP AND DOWN
WE’RE CAPTURED ON THE CAROUSEL OF TIME
WE CAN’T RETURN, WE CAN ONLY LOOK BEHIND FROM WHERE WE CAME
AND GO ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND AND ‘ROUND IN THE CIRCLE GAME

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