Joni Mitchell – Urge For Going

Urge For Going
Written, composed, and performed by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

This is a live version recorded in Ontario on 24 October 1966. She was 22 years old here, an emerging artist. She recorded her first album in 1968. (I get a kick out of the other musicians watching her.)

“Urge For Going” was originally recorded by Tom Rush in 1967, Mitchell’s own version (recorded for Blue but left off the album at the last minute in favor of newer songs) was not released until 1972, as the B-side of the “You Turn Me On, I’m a Radio” single. It was first available on a Joni Mitchell album as part of her 1996 greatest hits compilation.

I awoke today and found the frost perched on the town
It hovered in a frozen sky then it gobbled summer down
When the sun turns traitor cold
And all the trees stand shivering in a naked row.

I get the urge for going but I never seem to go
I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown and
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in.

I had a man in summertime, with summer-colored skin
And not another girl in town my darling’s heart could win
But when the leaves fell trembling down and
Bully winds did rub their faces in the snow.

He got the urge for going and I had to let him go
He got the urge for going
When the meadow grass was turning brown and
Summertime was falling down and winter closing in.

Now the warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives, is gettin’ out
See the geese in chevron flight
Flapping and racing on before the snow.

They got the urge for going
And they got the wings so they can go
They get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
Summertime is falling down and winter is closing in.

So I’ll ply the fire with kindling
pull the blankets to my chin
I’ll lock the vagrant winter out and
fold my wandering in
I’d like to call back summertime and
Have her stay for just another month or so.

But she’s got the urge for going
So I guess she’ll have to go
She gets the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
All her empire’s falling down and winter’s closing in.
And I get the urge for going
When the meadow grass is turning brown
And summertime is falling down.

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