Circle Game

Joni Mitchell

 [Original guitar tuning is DGDGBD (open G) with a capo up 4th fret.]


Bm6    Am7(4)    Bm6    Am7(4)    Bm6    Am7(4)    G       C(9)    G


G                   C(9)                      G       C(9)

Yesterday a child came out to wonder

G                          C(9)             D7

Caught a  dragonfly inside a jar

G                           C(9)                   Bm

Fearful when the sky was full of thunder

         C                     GBm6 Am7(4) G        C(9)

And tearful at the falling of a star



               G       Bm6           Am7(4)      G

And the seasons they go ‘round and ‘round.

              G       Bm6             Am7(4)      G

And the painted ponies go up and down.

C                                                       G

We’re captive on the carousel of time.

C                                                           Bm                               C

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

              G                                  Am7                         G        C     G

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,

'Till you drag your feet to slow the circle 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.