Season 3 is Done
Mark Patton's 2019 Documentary

From the Chersonian Archive: Joni Mitchell Lyrics

Mitchellgeffen

Apologies to the Cher scholar who brought these lyrics to my attention. I printed them out to look at later and then years and years went by and I recently dug them out of the Chersonian Institute's messy archive.

There's speculation that references to Cher can be found in the lyrics of two Joni Mitchell songs. Here's what we do know: Joni Mitchell, Cher and David Geffen lived in the same house for a time while Cher was dating Geffen in 1973-74. Mitchell and Geffen are quoted mentioning this situation. When Cher left Geffen for Gregg Allman, Geffen admits he was distraught to distraction and had to seek therapy. He also states Cher was his only girlfriend. So the pool of possibilities here is very small (like Cher) if in fact Mitchell is referring to David Geffen in these two songs.

Let's take a look. Good sleuthing Cher scholar!

From her song "Love or Money" from the 1974 concert album Miles of Ailses.

Full lyrics: https://jonimitchell.com/music/song.cfm?id=190
Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WfplwJaBN1E

Specific lyrics that seem David Geffen related:

The firmament of Tinsel Town
Is strung with tungsten stars
Lots of forty watt successes
He says where's my own shining hour
He's the well kept secret of the underground
He's in debt to the company store

Specific lyrics that seem Cher-related:

His only channeled aspiration
was getting back the girl he had before…

All because that ghostly girl comes haunting
Just out of reach outside his bed
And she kicks the covers off his sleep
For the clumsy things he said
She commands his head she tries his sanity
She demands his head tonight unknowingly

Vaguely she floats and lacelike
Blown in like a curtain on the night wind
She's nebulous and naked
He wonders where she's been
He grabs at the air because there's nothing there
Her evasiveness stings him
With long legs-long lonely legs
Bruised from banging into things

One day he was standing just outside her door
He was carrying an armload of bright balloons
She just laughed
She said she heard him knocking
And she teased him for the moon...

he tried but he could not get it down
for love or money

This song was recorded in March and August of 1974, in the turmoil of Geffen and Cher's relationship.

 

Form "Off Night Backstreet" from the 1977 album Don Juan's Reckless Daughter.

Full lyrics: https://jonimitchell.com/music/song.cfm?id=169
Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yrsub53A9EE

There are no overt references to David Geffen in the song but these are the possible Cher-related lyrics:

You pimp - laughing and strutting her to my chartered seat…
now she's moved in with you
She's keeping your house neat
and your sheets sweet…

who left her long black hair
in our bathtub drain?

This is a much later song, the album was recorded in 1977 and could be referring to another Mitchell relationship and another mysterious girl. 

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