Joni Mitchell: Chinese Cafe

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+12 -6
Chinese Cafe

Caught in the middle, Carol, we're middle-class
We're middle-aged
We were wild in the old days
Birth of rock-and-roll days
Now your kids are coming up straight
My child's a stranger
I bore her
But I could not raise her

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe, we'd be dreaming on our dimes
We'd be playing, "Oh my love, my darling" one more time

Uranium money is booming in the old hometown now
It's putting up sleek concrete and tearing the old landmarks down
Paving over brave little parks
Ripping off Indian land again
How long, how long, short-sighted businessmen

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe, we'd be dreaming on our dimes
We'd be playing, "You give your love, so sweetly" one more time

Christmas is sparkling out on Carol's lawn
This girl of my childhood games with kids nearly grown and gone
Grown so fast like the turn of a page
We look like our mothers did now
When we were those kids' ages

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long---
Nothing lasts for long---
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe
We'd be dreaming on our dimes, we'd be playing
"Oh my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
Godspeed your love to me


















songwriter: Joni Mitchell

performed by: Joni Mitchell

date released: 1982 by Joni Mitchell for album, "Wild Things Run Fast"

Sit back and imagine a willowy Roberta Joan Anderson in her teenaged years sitting with her friend Carol in a Chinese cafe in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The cafe is owned by two brothers, Art and Charlie Mack. Rolling cigarettes through their fingers and fishing out dimes for the jukebox, they play The Righteous Brothers'
"Unchained Melody" again and again like a mantra. Books and homework that would never get done were thrown against the vinyl of the seats. Joan Anderson was never a scholar and in fact, she dropped out of high school in Grade 12.

Fast forward to the year, 1982, when Carol and Joan [now Joni] were reminiscing about old times. Both are reaching the milestone age of 40, "middle-class" and "middle-aged." Carol has raised children, and Joni has had a stellar music career but remains childless. She put her daughter, Kelly Dale Anderson, out for adoption in 1966 and had not seen her since.

Saskatoon has changed in the years since they knew it as teenaged girls. Uranium mining has flourished in the area and concrete edifices dot the landscape. The old landmarks of the city and the last green parks have been edged out of existence for the Gods of Progress.

In mid-life Joni Mitchell has reached the pinnacle of material and career success, yet she remains hollow. She hungers for something she cannot have: her child. Through her music, Mitchell left clues alluding to her daughter, "the stranger" whom she [Mitchell] "bore" but "did not raise." See
"Little Green" for the complete story.

"Nothing last for long" is the refrain intoned like a prayer. On March 13, 1997, Joni Mitchell was reunited with her daughter, Kilauren Gibb.






















Chinese Cafe

Caught in the middle, Carol, we're middle-class
We're middle-aged
We were wild in the old days
Birth of rock-and-roll days
Now your kids are coming up straight
My child's a stranger
I bore her
But I could not raise her

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe, we'd be dreaming on our dimes
We'd be playing, "Oh my love, my darling" one more time

Uranium money is booming in the old hometown now
It's putting up sleek concrete and tearing the old landmarks down
Paving over brave little parks
Ripping off Indian land again
How long, how long, short-sighted businessmen

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe, we'd be dreaming on our dimes
We'd be playing, "You give your love, so sweetly" one more time

Christmas is sparkling out on Carol's lawn
This girl of my childhood games with kids nearly grown and gone
Grown so fast like the turn of a page
We look like our mothers did now
When we were those kids' ages

CHORUS: Nothing lasts for long---
Nothing lasts for long---
Nothing lasts for long
Down at the Chinese Cafe
We'd be dreaming on our dimes, we'd be playing
"Oh my love, my darling
I've hungered for your touch
A long, lonely time
And time goes by so slowly
And time can do so much
Are you still mine?
I need your love
I need your love
Godspeed your love to me


















songwriter: Joni Mitchell

performed by: Joni Mitchell

date released: 1982 by Joni Mitchell for album, "Wild Things Run Fast"

Sit back and imagine a willowy Roberta Joan Anderson in her teenaged years sitting with her friend Carol in a Chinese cafe in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. The cafe is owned by two brothers, Art and Charlie Mack. Rolling cigarettes through their fingers and fishing out dimes for the jukebox, they play The Righteous Brothers'
"Unchained Melody" again and again like a mantra. Books and homework that would never get done were thrown against the vinyl of the seats. Joan Anderson was never a scholar and in fact, she dropped out of high school in Grade 12.

Fast forward to the year, 1982, when Carol and Joan [now Joni] were reminiscing about old times. Both are reaching the milestone age of 40, "middle-class" and "middle-aged." Carol has raised children, and Joni has had a stellar music career but remains childless. She put her daughter, Kelly Dale Anderson, out for adoption in 1966 and had not seen her since.

Saskatoon has changed in the years since they knew it as teenaged girls. Uranium mining has flourished in the area and concrete edifices dot the landscape. The old landmarks of the city and the last green parks have been edged out of existence for the Gods of Progress.

In mid-life Joni Mitchell has reached the pinnacle of material and career success, yet she remains hollow. She hungers for something she cannot have: her child. Through her music, Mitchell left clues alluding to her daughter, "the stranger" whom she [Mitchell] "bore" but "did not raise." See
"Little Green" for the complete story.

"Nothing last for long" is the refrain intoned like a prayer. On March 13, 1997, Joni Mitchell was reunited with her daughter, Kilauren Gibb.






















+12 -6
Quiz #: 3710
A lesser known song for Mitchell, it contains kernels of the pain she felt about her aborted motherhood
Quiz by: Sharon Michiko Yoneda
High Intermediate

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