Album: Hejira (1976)
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  • 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 through to you
    Then your life becomes a travelogue
    Of picture postcard charms
    Oh, Amelia, it was just a false alarm

    People will tell you where they've gone
    They'll tell you where to go
    But 'til 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
    It's 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 I've never really loved
    I guess that is the truth
    I've 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 Writer/s: Joni Mitchell
    Publisher: Aporia Records Inc., RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc.
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 6

  • Phil Regan from Leyland, Lancashire, EnglandIn my 55 years of singing and listening to contemporary folk music, I've never found a song that blended sublime poetic imagery, and hauntingly beautiful melody and performance, so completely. It is a work of genius, which is probably why its not better known - its just too good for the majority to appreciate.
  • Les from SfOne of my favorite top five songs.... the greatest lyrics, spoke so directly to me when I was younger!
  • Ret from Bristol, United KingdomLeaving aside my feelings about this song, which, while personal, I still don't really understand (the song is a little bit about death, after all)... I sat and figured out the chords to this the other day, it sounds pretty cool on the piano.
  • Peter from Newark, NyJoni has a song called 'Cactus Tree' on her first album, Song to a Seagull, and it appears again live on "Miles of Aisles". I wonder if the Cactus Tree Motel in this song is related.
  • Peter from Newark, NyThis entire album has some of the best imagery I've ever heard in lyrics. I love the line "slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust".
  • Darrell from EugeneAmelia is also a medical term for the condition of having one or more limbs missing, thus making it a great name for the proverbial girl with no arms and no legs.
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