The Circle Game

by Joni Mitchell


C                 F                          C

Yesterday a child came out to wonder

                          F                G

Caught a dragonfly inside a jar

C                         F                      Em

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

        F                  G                C

And tearful at the falling of a star.


             C                       F               F

And the seasons they go round and round

                                           F         C

And the painted ponies go up and down

F                                              C

We’re captive on a carousel of time

F                                                    Em                                            F

We can’t return we can only look behind from where we came

            Em            F                                             G

And go round and round and round in the circle game


Then the moon moved ten times round the seasons

Skated over ten clear frozen streams

Words like “when you’re older” must appease time

And promises of someday make his dreams


Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now

Cartwheels turn to carwheels round the town

And you tell him take your time it won’t be long now

Til you drag your feet to slow the circles down


So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty

Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true

There’ll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty

Before the last revolving year is through