Real Good For Free

Words & Music:

Joni Mitchell


Thanks to songhound Gregory Spear for chord corrections to this song.


C   G   D  [2x]


  G          FM7        Em

I slept last night in a good hotel;

       Am         C       F    C

I went shopping today for jewels.

The wind rushed around in the dirty town

And the children let out from the schools.

      Am                  G       C               G    F  C    D

I was standing on a noisy corner, waiting for the walking green.

  G                  FM7

Across the street he stood,

       Em          Am          C        F   C

And he played real good on his clarinet for free.


Now me, I play for fortunes and the velvet curtain calls.

I got a black limousine and a few gentlemen escorting me to these halls.

And I'll 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 TV;

So, they passed his good music by.

I meant to go over and ask for a song, maybe put on a harmony.

I heard his refrain as that signal changed,

He was still playing real good for free.


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