Joni Mitchell - Real Good for Free Lyrics




I slept last night in a good hotel
I went shopping today for jewels
The wind rushed around in the dirty town
And the children let out from the schools
I was standing on a noisy corner
Waiting for the walking green
Across the street he stood
And he played real good
On his clarinet, for free.

Now me I play for fortune
And those velvet curtain calls
I've got a black limousine
And two gentlemen
Escorting me to the halls
And I play if you have the money

Or if you're a friend to me
But the one man band
By the quick lunch stand
He was playing real good, for free.

Nobody stopped to hear him
Though he played so sweet and high
They knew he had never
Been on their t.v.
So they passed his music by
I meant to go over and ask for a song
Maybe put on a harmony...
I heard his refrain
As the signal changed
He was playing real good, for free.





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Joni Mitchell Real Good for Free Comments
  1. George Thuesen

    I saw Joni live on this tour, and to echo a previous comment she got me through. She played real good for free, Thank you for my sight.

  2. Chelsea

    Here because of Lana forgetting to sing

  3. scott jones

    Only took me 45 years to notice Joni's toes in the cover photo. I love her from her toes to the top of her head.

  4. Bendage

    god dam ... if this isn't the most honest song I've ever heard... Joni Mitchell is the ultimate artist. she's not perfect, and she knows it, but she captures the most human moments and feelings and has absolutely no fear in making herself transparent and sharing them as a conduit. the perfect artist...

  5. Ron Faile

    I saw this tour at Wembley Stadium where she supported Crosby Stills Nash and Young

  6. Pip Reynolds

    I was fortunate. because I was at this concert!~ It was a beautiful day, Joni was wearing an eccentric outfit, forest green jacket and knickers with a purple blouse and open toed wedgies, looking kinda 30's.. The music was perfection, jazzier than what we grew to expect from Joni. I remember the look of shock on the narrow minded young Michigan girls. Who had no idea of how incredible her music was or how blessed they were to be there to witness history being made! ~ Joni and the LA Express were a perfect pairing! ~ So brilliant and beautiful! ~ I can't get enough! ~And still proudly wear my T-shirt, I bought that day. Joni Mitchell forever!!!!

  7. Austin Caufield

    I grew up with Joni A very dear friend of mine turned me on to her...……...He later committed suicide …….He was a brilliant soul But he said his family would not except him because he was gay...…………..Tragic beyond words WTF is wrong with parents and the so called world?? LOVE Is LOVE religions are to blame for this travesty we are not here to judge...…….all walks of life have the right to live and love...……………..

  8. ImNotMad ButUR

    One of the most poignant songs. I have a painting my mother did, a little old man on the street selling newspapers. All in sepia tones, he’s in front of closed stores, a jewelry store, and a darker one behind that’s maybe some nice things for a home. Nothing the newspaper man would have. He stands there, arms laden, with his little old hat and worn coat, frazzled pant legs and clunky boots. He’s my fine friend. He and I have, over the years, traded stories. So many stories. He’s never sold a paper, but his stories are always given for free. He is, truly, my very fine, cherished friend.

    Thank you, Joni, for a friend for my newspaper vendor, with his years of stories. Tunes for his pleasure. I don’t interject, I fear I’d ruin his pleasure.

    Thank you, Mom, for this. I’ll see you again one day. Soon.

  9. ImNotMad ButUR

    This song - this song. And my painting, of a little old man selling newspapers on the street. Sepia colors, and there’s a jewelry store behind him. We trade so many stories, and have for so many years. Wow.

    Thank you, Mom.
    Thank you, Joni.

  10. stonethecrows25

    This song basically says it all. The narrative of the lyrics spans a few brief/long seconds while waiting for the traffic lights to change. it's all in the moment and the possibilities of the moment, when different worlds intersect. For me, anyway...

  11. stonethecrows25

    SEARCH LYRICS
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    For Free
    by Joni Mitchell

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    I slept last night in a good hotel
    I went shopping today for jewels
    The wind rushed around in the dirty town
    And the children let out from the schools
    I was standing on a noisy corner
    Waiting for the walking green
    Across the street he stood
    And he played real good
    On his clarinet for free

    Now me I play for fortunes
    And those velvet curtain calls
    I've got a black limousine
    And two gentlemen
    Escorting me to the halls
    And I play if you have the money
    Or if you're a friend to me
    But the one man band
    By the quick lunch stand
    He was playing real good for free

    Nobody stopped to hear him
    Though he played so sweet and high
    They knew he had never
    Been on their T.V.
    So they passed his music by
    I meant to go over and ask for a song
    Maybe put on a harmony
    I heard his refrain
    As the signal changed
    He was playing real good for free

  12. Music fiend

    I will always love Joni. Truly a rare gem. Uniquely beautiful musicality and lyrics that truly cut deep to the soul. No one touched several generations of listeners the way Joni did.

  13. Roger Adams

    Joni (roberta) , is so very wonderfully talented and the band on this album (miles of isles) so holds up the "Chirp" with great style and subtle grace .
    What a winner !

  14. Roger Adams

    Joni (roberta) , is so very wonderfully talented and the band on this album (miles of isles) so holds up the "Chirp" with great style and subtle grace .
    What a winner !

  15. Tom Hardcastle

    Joni Mitchell got me through high school!  Miles of Aisles got me through college!  I don't need to know anything else nor do I have any other comment about her.  She in my mind will always be a part of my life!

    M J

    When I was young and ran away from home the only thing I took was my Miles of Aisle album.

    ImNotMad ButUR

    Good man!

  16. Susie Squillions

    Isn't the name of this song "For Free?"  Just, plain "For free.". A great song by any name.

    fingling8

    @Susie Squillions I think it is, but on Miles of Aisles it's listed as Real Good etc. As you suggest, it doesn't much matter...

  17. John Jarou

    very talented lady.  one of my favorites by her.

  18. agent458

    The first time I saw Joni Mitchell was in 1976, with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue.  Joan Baez sang Do Right Woman, a capella.  And Joni was there.  I was fourth row from the front of the stage.  I was in heaven, all my heroes were there.  Joan Baez looked down and smiled RIGHT. AT. ME.  ME!  Little 16-year-old me.  SO awesome. 

  19. Travis Patterson

    I love this album......everything about it

  20. jewels4037

    she is an artist.

  21. R.D. Walker

    I Love Joni. It's as if She'd been watching me for my Whole Life.

  22. screwmaster404

    eargasm!

  23. Nancy Bisset

    :-) Published on Oct.13 on my special Angel's Birthday. :-))) Just magnificent. Love songs that have warm memories attached to them. Thanks for sharing this gem with me. Joni Mitchell this is most beautiful. :-)

  24. Ltypd

    my favorite version of a great song, one of joni's best