Attention: Hippie Wannabes!

woodstock2One of the top 3 (in my opinion) iconic statement songs of the ‘60s is Joni Mtchell’s ‘Woodstock’.  Most people know the version by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and according to Wikipedia, it was written based upon accounts of the concert from her then-boyfriend Graham Nash.  Like most of you, I have heard the song dozens of times, maybe hundreds over the past 40+(yes 40+)years.  But it was only recently that I actual listened and got the message.  (We were all taught in grade school the difference between hearing and listening.)  It may have been in the way that Nash described the events of those three days, or maybe from what Joni saw on TV, or maybe just the strong desire at the time by that generation of baby boomers for peace, or all of the above; but apparently Joni was equating the spirit of Woodstock to the paradise of Eden before mankind screwed it up.  (Was I the last person on earth to get that?)

In any case, the lyrics are below along with a link to the Joni Mitchell video – which is really is quite haunting.  It’s a song about each of us and our journey in figuring out who we are and what we are doing here, and most importantly, how do we ‘get back to the garden’?  Brilliant.  There are just some lines that smack you in the head once you actually listen (my thoughts in parenthesis):

Joni Mitchell Singing Woodstock    (pardon the commercial you may see)

I came upon a child of God   (That is how I would love to be remembered- as a child of God–nothing more.)
He was walking along the road    (The road of life I would think)
And I asked him, “Where are you going?”    (That’s scriptural:  John 13:36)
And this he told me… 

I’m going on down to Yasgur’s Farm, (Farm / Garden – close enough)
I’m gonna join in a rock and roll band. (All old rockers go to heaven)
I’m gonna camp out on the land
I’m gonna get my soul free. (Free from whatever is keeping us from seeking God)

We are stardust. (…all come from dust, and to dust all return – Ecc 3:20)
We are golden.  (We are golden, we are precious, each of us, to God.)
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. (We sure do – can you dig it?!)

Then can I walk beside you? (Sounds like the road to Emmaus – Luke 24:13-35)
I have come here to lose the smog, (What is more unlikely to be Eden?)
And I feel to be a cog in something turning. (She’s feeling the spirit.)

Well maybe it is just the time of year, (August-Summer – time off – freedom)
Or maybe it’s the time of man. (Son of Man more likely)
I don’t know who I am,
But you know life is for learning. (and finding The Way)

We are stardust. 
We are golden. 
And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. (Because we are lost and don’t belong where we are now)

By the time we got to Woodstock, 

We were half a million strong 
And Everywhere there was song and celebration. (Like Eden was meant to be – paradise – where the only ‘drug’ we need is the Holy Spirit.)

And I dreamed I saw the bombers 

Riding shotgun in the sky, 
And they were turning into butterflies 
Above our nation. (The power of the Holy Spirit does that to people: bombers to butterflies)

We are stardust.
Billion year old carbon. (God created chemistry – all life is carbon based)
We are golden.
Caught in the devil’s bargain (This is the clincher.  The scene of Satan’s first and greatest lie was in the garden.)  

And we’ve got to get ourselves back to the garden. (Back to where we belong – back to God’s house.)

Knowing that not everything was perfect at Woodstock, Joni’s idyllic and hopeful song is probably as appropriate a tribute to its memory as any  – when for three days (yes 3 days – does that also sound familiar?) in August of 1969, half a million strong came as close to the spirit of the garden as has ever been achieved since creation……very cool.



6 thoughts on “Attention: Hippie Wannabes!

  1. Pingback: Tossin’ and Turnin’ | Holyfolk – A community for discussing our faith

  2. As I get older I come to feel that we are closer to “this place” more and more. When a young prophet gets it, so soon, it blows my mind. Yes, you have nailed it…. it is haunting because when we were in college did we really get the meaning, or were we just passive believers? Now, it’s more about passionate believers! Thanks for sharing! T

    • RT
      Though it’s not all about knowing the answers or about questions, it’s having a conversation….and maybe even more important than that, for me right now is… just hanging out together. Some of the best times, the most meaningful….the most important for a relationship (for me) is when I’m with a friend or with God and we are….just being.

      Picture- The lake is calm and quite, the last of the evening colors have turn a dark blue. The only sound is the whuur of the reel as I cast my lure into the night and a distant sploosh as it hits the water. I retrieve it slow as it gurgles on the surface, very faint at first but steadly becomes more clear as it gets closer to the boat. Over and over until I’m not really paying much attention, looking at the night sky as the moon begins to brighten the eastern tree tops and CAPLOOSH the sound of a cow doing a belly flop inches from my rod tip, water flying everywhere!! I set the hook out of startled reaction and hope hooks don’t come flying back at me. A heavy fish is felt as it shakes it’s head side to side then leaps into the air silhouetted by the diamond trail behind her, a few minutes more and the fish released, I point to God and thank Jesus…..sitting in silence agian… any sermon.

      Do I have cabin fever or what?

      Yes, knowing the Bible is important but that doesn’t mean we know the Father or Jesus. If you don’t go fishing with them (or whatever we do) they are God and Creator but not Father and Friend.

      Don’t get out fishing much anymore but I got the desire this winter to be with he Father and Jesus creating a garden (a tie to you article) thus the “tractor”.

      I’ll let you know how it goes.


      • True – very true – sometimes God and I golf when I am walking a local par three course as a single walk on…he let’s me win a hole or two…RT

  3. I probably am out of touch with most things going on around me these days, burnt out with the daily news, petty grievances and complaints at work, issues that come with having 4 children, it’s hard some times to stop and do some major soul searching. Bought a tractor and invision….working the soil and soul this summer…I pray it will be a time of peace for you and me.

    • B- – it sounds corny to say sometimes, but speaking from strictly a practical sense, all the answers to all our questions are in God’s word, for instance, peace: ‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Pray and let me know how it goes…RT

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *