It fell from midnight skies It drummed on the galvanized In the washroom, women tracked the rain Up to the make-up mirror Liquid soap and grass And Jungle Gardenia crash On Pine-Sol and beer ... It's stifling in here ... I've got to get some air ... I'm going outside to get some air Back in my hometown They would have cleared the floor Just to watch the rain come down! They're such sky oriented people-- Geared to changing weather ... I'm floating off in time I'm floating off I'm floating off in time When I was three feet tall And wide eyed open to it all With their tasseled teams they came To McGee's General Store All in their beaded leathers I would tie on colored feathers And I'd beat the drum like war ... I would beat the drum like war I'd beat the drum I'd beat the drum like war But when the church got through They traded their beads for bottles Smashed--on Railway Avenue And they cut off their braids And lost some link with nature I'm floating into dreams I'm floating off I'm floating into my dreams I dream paprika plains Vast and bleak and God forsaken Paprika plains And a turquoise river snaking (Where crows gaze--vigilant on wires Where cattle graze the grasses Far from the digits of business hours The moon clock wanes and waxes-- But here all time is stripped away Nowhere on these plains Is a sprout or an egg in evidence To measure loss or gain ... Only a little Indian band Come down from some windy mesa No women to make them food and child No expressions on their faces I'm low in a helicopter And the wind from whirling blades Flaps their woven blankets And flags their raven braids How came they to this emptiness? How came they to this dream? How came I to this view From a flying machine Of earth and air and water And a band of Indian men Without herds or flocks or crops Or families or fires to tend? Like a phoenix up from ashes now A blanket figure springs With a fist raised up to turquoise skies Like liberty And at the point of vanishing Where the sky and the earth meet A bomb blooms Deadly mushroom White Gold Heat Like a phoenix up from ashes Up from violent mysteries And growing 'till the giant blast Is to it like a golfer's tee there comes a child's beach ball And memory takes me back to the beach to toss it up to the garage to get it patched A pink and yellow beach ball Rolling Grand Detached Turning the blues and greens of earth From space probe photographs I float out of the hovercraft Naked as infancy And weightless And drifting Horizontally Like a filing to a magnet Like the long descent of rain I am drawn I fall against the ball And lose paprika plains I suckle at my mother's breast I embrace my mother earth I remember perforated blinds Over the crib of my birth And just as Eve succumbed To reckless curiosity I take my sharpest fingernail And slash the globe to see Below me-- Vast Paprika plains And the snake the river traces And a little band of Indian men With no expressions on their faces.) The rain retreats Like troops to fall on other fields and streets Meanwhile they're sweet talking and name calling And brawling on the fringes of the floor I spot you through the smoke With your eyes on fire From J&B and coke As I'm coming through the door I'm coming back I'm coming back for more! The band plugs in again You see that mirrored ball begin to sputter lights And spin Dizzy on the dancers Geared to changing rhythms No matter what you do I'm floating back I'm floating back to you!
Written by: Joni Mitchell
Lyrics © Crazy Crow Music / Siquomb Music Publishing, RESERVOIR MEDIA MANAGEMENT INC
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"Paprika Plains Lyrics." Lyrics.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Nov. 2023. <https://www.lyrics.com/lyric/850235/Joni+Mitchell/Paprika+Plains>.