Jericho – Joni Mitchell

A friend recently asked me, “What is your favorite song?”

An easy question to answer, “I don’t think I could ever have a favorite song … except maybe – there are moments when a song fits perfectly – says something perfectly that I feel or need to say … At that moment – that would be my favorite song.”

“I understand you,” My friend answered.

“I could name a favorite artist or two. Do you know Joni Mitchell?”

… Here is a sample of Joni Mitchell.  And I can safely say that she is my favorite artist, and has been since I started to appreciate listening to music.

This is probably not the song I would choose as a first introduction to Joni but, by coincidence, I found the lyrics of the song transcribed into a journal somewhere sometime long ago.  The lyrics of this song give an excellent example of why Joni Mitchell is my favorite artist.

Jericho captures an incredibly broad and amazingly accurate range of feelings that come with entering fully into a new relationship – as a true friend, as a lover, or more – of the need to commit to being open, the fear of being open and exposing our own needs and desires, the fear of failing to meet and satisfy someone else’s needs, and the leap of faith required to try – to let “the walls come crumbling down” – which “gets easier and easier to do.”

Note: This song was first released in October 1974 on the album Joni Mitchell – Miles of Aisles, which was created from recordings of live concerts during Joni’s 1974 Summer Tour of the United States.  Most of the songs were recorded during shows at the Universal Amphitheatre held  August 14 Through August 17.

I first heard this song before it was released on the album – I heard at the next concert on the tour, on August 20, 1974:  Joni Mitchell – Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) Saratoga Springs, NY – 1974-08-20


by Joni Mitchell

I’ll try to keep myself open up to you
That’s a promise that I made to love
When it was new
Just like Jericho I said
“Let these walls come tumbling down”
I said it like I finally found the way
To keep the good feelings alive
I said it like it was something to strive for

I’ll try to keep myself open up to you
And approve your self expression
I need that too
I need your confidence baby
And the gift of your extra time
In turn I’ll give you mine
Sweet darling it’s a rich exchange
It seems to me
It’s a warm arrangement

Anyone will tell you
Just how hard it is to make and keep a friend
Maybe they’ll short sell you
Or maybe it’s you
Judas in the end
When you just can no longer pretend
That you’re getting what you need
Or you’re giving out anything for them to grow and feed on

I’ll try to keep myself open up to you
It gets easier and easier to do
Just like Jericho
Let these walls come tumbling down now
Let them fall right on the ground
Let all these dogs go running free
The wild and the gentle dogs
Kenneled in me

© 1974; Crazy Crow Music


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