The Read Canadian Songbook: Joni Mitchell: The Jungle Line

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+20 -3
Rousseau walks on trumpet paths
Safaris to the heart of all that jazz
Through I-bars and girders-through wires and pipes
The mathematic circuits of the modern nights

Through huts, through Harlem, through jails and gospel pews
Through the class on Park and the trash on Vine
Through Europe and the deep deep heart of Dixie blue
Through savage progress cuts the jungle line

In a low-cut blouse she brings the beer
Rousseau paints a jungle flower behind her ear
Those cannibals-of shuck and jive
They'll eat a working girl like her alive

With his hard-edged eye and his steady hand
He paints the cellar full of ferns and orchid vines
And he hangs a moon above a five-piece band
He hangs it up above the jungle line
The jungle line, the jungle line


Screaming in a a ritual of sound and time
Floating, drifting on the air-conditioned wind
And drooling for a taste of something smuggled in

Pretty women funneled through valves and smoke
Coy and bitchy and wild and fine
And charging elephants enchanting slaving boats
Charging, chanting down the jungle line

There's a poppy wreath on a soldier's tomb
There's a poppy snake in the dressing room
Poppy poison, poppy tourniquet
It slithers away on brass like mouthpiece spit
In metal skin and ivory birds go steaming up to Rousseau's vines
They go steaming up to Brooklyn Bridge
Steaming, steaming, steaming up...the jungle line







There's a poppy wreath on a soldier'
songwriter: Joni Mitchell

performed by: Burundi warrior drummers

date released: 1975 by Joni Mitchell, re-released in 2007 by Herbie Hancock and Leonard Cohen

"The Jungle Line" is a single from an innovative Joni Mitchell album, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns." Its innovation was the fusion of traditional music of African cultures into her unique style of jazz-rock. Later, other artist such as Paul Simon and Sting would imitate her style infusing world music into their oeuvre.

The tom-tom of Burundi warrior drummers transports the listener into the lush green jungles of Africa. Like a snake slithering its way through modern society, drugs flow from the poppy fields of Europe and Asia, and from the coca plants in Colombia into the weave of North American life. It is social commentary at its artistic best.

The cover art of the album was created by Mitchell herself. It is an olive green mass with the dark silhouettes of six African drummers carrying a long carcass-like snake back to their village. The startling feature is the backdrop of Manhattan in pen and ink lines.





Rousseau walks on trumpet paths
Safaris to the heart of all that jazz
Through I-bars and girders-through wires and pipes
The mathematic circuits of the modern nights

Through huts, through Harlem, through jails and gospel pews
Through the class on Park and the trash on Vine
Through Europe and the deep deep heart of Dixie blue
Through savage progress cuts the jungle line

In a low-cut blouse she brings the beer
Rousseau paints a jungle flower behind her ear
Those cannibals-of shuck and jive
They'll eat a working girl like her alive

With his hard-edged eye and his steady hand
He paints the cellar full of ferns and orchid vines
And he hangs a moon above a five-piece band
He hangs it up above the jungle line
The jungle line, the jungle line


Screaming in a a ritual of sound and time
Floating, drifting on the air-conditioned wind
And drooling for a taste of something smuggled in

Pretty women funneled through valves and smoke
Coy and bitchy and wild and fine
And charging elephants enchanting slaving boats
Charging, chanting down the jungle line

There's a poppy wreath on a soldier's tomb
There's a poppy snake in the dressing room
Poppy poison, poppy tourniquet
It slithers away on brass like mouthpiece spit
In metal skin and ivory birds go steaming up to Rousseau's vines
They go steaming up to Brooklyn Bridge
Steaming, steaming, steaming up...the jungle line







There's a poppy wreath on a soldier'
songwriter: Joni Mitchell

performed by: Burundi warrior drummers

date released: 1975 by Joni Mitchell, re-released in 2007 by Herbie Hancock and Leonard Cohen

"The Jungle Line" is a single from an innovative Joni Mitchell album, "The Hissing of Summer Lawns." Its innovation was the fusion of traditional music of African cultures into her unique style of jazz-rock. Later, other artist such as Paul Simon and Sting would imitate her style infusing world music into their oeuvre.

The tom-tom of Burundi warrior drummers transports the listener into the lush green jungles of Africa. Like a snake slithering its way through modern society, drugs flow from the poppy fields of Europe and Asia, and from the coca plants in Colombia into the weave of North American life. It is social commentary at its artistic best.

The cover art of the album was created by Mitchell herself. It is an olive green mass with the dark silhouettes of six African drummers carrying a long carcass-like snake back to their village. The startling feature is the backdrop of Manhattan in pen and ink lines.





+20 -3
Quiz #: 3654
Joni Mitchell's "The Jungle Line" accompanies Leonard Cohen's song of the same name
Quiz by: Sharon Michiko Yoneda
High Intermediate

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