Chelsea Morning

  • Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I heard
    Was a song outside my window, and the traffic wrote the words
    It came a-reeling up like Christmas bells and rapping up like pipes and drums

    Oh, won't you stay
    We'll put on the day
    And we'll wear it 'till the night comes

    Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I saw
    Was the sun through yellow curtains, and a rainbow on the wall
    Blue, red, green and gold to welcome you, crimson crystal beads to beckon

    Oh, won't you stay
    We'll put on the day
    There's a sun show every second

    Now the curtain opens on a portrait of today
    And the streets are paved with passersby
    And pigeons fly
    And papers lie
    Waiting to blow away

    Woke up, it was a Chelsea morning, and the first thing that I knew
    There was milk and toast and honey and a bowl of oranges, too
    And the sun poured in like butterscotch and stuck to all my senses
    Oh, won't you stay
    We'll put on the day
    And we'll talk in present tenses

    When the curtain closes and the rainbow runs away
    I will bring you incense owls by night
    By candlelight
    By jewel-light
    If only you will stay
    Pretty baby, won't you
    Wake up, it's a Chelsea morning Writer/s: Joni Mitchell
    Publisher: Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 10

  • Cg From Uk from Farehami did read somewhere a long long time ago that the song did indeed refer to a stay in chelsea london - joni was apparently on tour in britain and stayed with the group Fairport Convention at their house, presumably in Chelsea and these were the sights, sounds and smells she experienced upon waking up
  • Al from Baltimore, MdI've been hoping to have a Chelsea Morning all my life, but never quite have managed it. Yes, it is a song about youth and simple happiness and the sheer romance of waking up with just the right person at just the right place under just the right circumstances. Joni should be much prouder of this song than she seems to be. It's a beautiful image.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdI take Joni's disparaging comments about her early songs with a very large grain of salt. I suppose it just measures how far she had developed as a songwriter between writing those songs and the time of the interview. Out of dozens, maybe hundreds of songs of hers, I'm hard pressed to find one I don't admire as a gem. This song in particular I find brimming with the most lovely, youthful enthusiasm and joie-de-vivre. Some of her later songs show a delicious complexity and an innovative beauty. To my mind, she has mastered multiple styles. Stef, I'm in your corner on this one!
  • David from Youngstown, OhNeil Diamond does a great version of this song on his 1971 "Stones" record that also includes "I Am...I Said," "Crunchy Granola Suite," "Husbands and Wives," and the title track.
  • Bart from San Antonio, TxI have read that Joni did indeed compose the song while living in Chelsea. The "crystal beads" lyric in the second verse refer to a stained glass mobile Ms. Mitchell and some girlfriends created while living in Philadelphia. That was a little more pertinent than my previous "Chelsea" comment.
  • Bart from San Antonio, TxWonderful song from a truly great songwriter and unique song stylist. The song captures and allows listeners to fully experience a single moment that occurred one morning in an apartment on West 16th Street in New York City. By the way, Chelsea got its name in 1750 from Captain Thomas Clarke who retired from the British army then moved to a farm on what was then pastoral land beyond the port of New York on Manhattan Island. He was honoring London's Royal Chelsea Hospital. Captain Clarke's grandson, Clement Clarke Moore, wrote the famous poem, "A Visit from St. Nicholas", a.k.a. "The Night Before Christmas", while living on his family's Chelsea estate. But I digress, I think Joni's song is near perfection.
  • Lalah from Wasilla, AkI used to love singing along with this Joni song, especially the line "and we'll talk in present tenses." Kind of like she was convincing whoever was waking up with her to stay the whole day and they'll not go to work. Now this song and Fleetwood Mac's "Don't stop thinking about tomorrow" will always be associated with Bill and Hillary. I don't care to listen to either any more.
  • Gary from Houston, Txin an interview bill and hillary said they named their daughter chelsea while in the chelsea area of london... they said the song "Chelsea Morning" by Judy Collins inspired them to do so.. they got it wrong on both counts..
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScThat's one of my favorite songs of hers! It's a beautiful song, and I'm a Joni Mitchell fan anyway.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesWonder if the song was also an ironic parody of the London borough of Chelsea??!!
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