Song Lyric Sunday – Record/Jukebox/DJ/Radio

My contribution to this week’s Song Lyric Sunday (prompt: Record/Jukebox/DJ/Radio).


At the age of 17, I discovered Joni Mitchell when I first dropped the needle on her album Blue. Thanks to new friends at my summer job. One of those friends and I were lucky enough to see her in concert together. Three years later. The Music Hall in Boston. High up in the balcony.

Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer/songwriter. The winner of 9 Grammy awards. Music that ranges from folk to pop to rock to jazz. Lyrics that reach out and grab you tight…especially when you’re 17.

You Turn Me On I’m A Radio was Mitchell’s first Top 40 hit as an artist in America. Lighter and brighter than her more serious musings on Blue, it was released in 1972 on the For the Roses album (her 5th). Written from the point of view of a radio station, it moved more towards the pop genre.

I now get a kick out of the references to dials and transistors…as I remember my first radio. A gift from my grandparents when I was in the 5th grade. A black Sony transistor radio (with a case!). And a dial…which picked up my favorite AM station: 77WABC

I’ll bet Joni Mitchell performed this song that night in Boston…




You Turn Me On I’m a Radio

by Joni Mitchell

If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you
Oh honey you turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wildwood flower
Waving for you
I’m a broadcasting tower
Waving for you
And I’m sending you out
This signal here
I hope you can pick it up
Loud and clear
I know you don’t like weak women
You get bored so quick
And you don’t like strong women
‘Cause they’re hip to your tricks
It’s been dirty for dirty
Down the line
But you know I come when you whistle
When you’re loving and kind
But if you’ve got too many doubts
If there’s no good reception for me
Then tune me out, ’cause honey
Who needs the static
It hurts the head
And you wind up cracking
And the day goes dismal
From “Breakfast Barney”
To the sign-off prayer
What a sorry face you get to wear
I’m going to tell you again now
If you’re still listening there
If you’re driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you
If you’re lying on the beach
With the transistor going
Kick off the sandflies honey
The love’s still flowing
If your head says forget it
But your heart’s still smoking
Call me at the station
The lines are open





17 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday – Record/Jukebox/DJ/Radio

  1. I hadn’t heard that song in years. I’d forgotten what a wonderful flow it has from the sweet groove she sets with her acoustic guitar right through the one long verse structure of the melody & lyrics, and of course those crystalline vocals. Even a Carter Family reference! (“I’m a wildwood flower.”) Good call. Thanks for posting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great choice! My husband saw her in 1964 in Regina. He was 11 years old and his dad took him to a café, The 4th Dimension, to see her play. It was just her with her guitar. He still remembers that day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “A black Sony transistor radio (with a case!). And a dial…which picked up my favorite AM station: 77WABC” . . . I remember my Sony transistor radio! I had it strapped on my bike handlebars so it faced me but would fall into my “basket” should the rubber bands fail . . . I dialed in my favorite channel (you are grand to remember your actual station!) and I peddled to my favorites. Loved your remembrance of Joni Mitchell . . . lyrics do stay with us . . . and pop into mind in the darndest moments.

    Liked by 1 person

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