Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Circle Game, a Singable Picture Book

Posted on: April 7, 2013

*
circle game mitchell deines
The Circle Game
Words and Music by Joni Mitchell
Illustrated by Brian Deines

**********************

THE CIRCLE GAME
Words and Music by Joni Mitchell

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you’re older must appease him
And promises of “someday” make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels through the town
And they tell him, “Take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down”

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

And go round and round and round
In the circle game

**********************

This is a wonderful song, beautifully illustrated.  The pictures by Brian Deines are gorgeous (those colors!) and perfectly compliment the lyrics.

This book does not seem to be widely available in the US, just in Canada.  I ordered it from Amazon Canada.  This is surprising to me since the book and song are so lovely.

**********************
Addendum 4/20/2013

I have been introducing this song to the children by saying that THE CIRCLE GAME is a song about growing up.  The boy in the song grows up and he seems to always be looking forward.  Wishing, hoping, dreaming for what subsequent years will allow him to do.  But the song suggests that “we are captive on the carousel of time,” and the time is going to keep on moving regardless of our wishes, hopes and dreams.  Especially in light of the recent events in Boston, I take this all to suggest that we LIVE FOR THE MOMENT and enjoy every moment we have for what it is.  I clearly remember someone telling me as a child that I should enjoy, relish and revel in BEING a child.  When book comes out of the Sing Bag, I try to deliver the same message.  Enjoy being a kid while you’re a kid.  This, NOW, is what you get.

**********************

*
Joni Mitchell sings THE CIRCLE GAME on her album LADIES OF THE CANYON:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9VoLCO-d6U

*
CIRCLE GAME with interviews:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FcgPLCtYwM

**********************

circle game mitchell ill DEINES-Brian 2

Two page spread of artwork for CIRCLE GAME by illustrator Brian Deines

**********************

*

indy children's museum carousel

The carousel at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum

**********************

I read that Joni Mitchell wrote THE CIRCLE GAME after meeting Neil Young and hearing his song SUGAR MOUNTAIN:


www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVajUY-hBVI

**********************

*
Joni Mitchell’s webpage for this song, includes lyrics and song history:
http://jonimitchell.com/music/song.cfm?id=39

*
Publisher’s press-release PDF webpage for this book (includes images of two-page spreads artwork, link to video interview, and bios)
http://www.dancingcatbooks.com/downloads/pressreleases/The%20Circle%20Game%20Online%20Media%20Package.pdf

*
Publisher’s webpage for this book:
http://www.dancingcatbooks.com/titles/thecirclegame.shtml

**********************

 

**********************
Related Posts

*
TEDDY BEAR’S PICNIC, A SINGABLE PICTURE BOOK
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/teddy-bears-picnic-a-singable-picture-book/

*
JONI MITCHELL
SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS OF JONI MITCHELL
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/joni-mitchell-in-singable-picture-books/

*
FOLK POP

*
CAROUSELS I HAVE LOVED (Pinterest Board) for TEDDY BEARS’ PICNIC and The CIRCLE GAME
http://pinterest.com/singbooksemily/carousels-i-have-loved/

*
The Carousels in Paris with Sing Books with Emily
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/the-carousels-in-paris-with-sing-books-with-emily/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Sing Books with Emily Instagram

I LOVE singing THANKS A LOT, by Raffi. It feels especially relevant at Thanksgivingtime, but really, we should feel free to express gratitude all year long. I brought it along to my performance at Mary Riley Styles Library today. First we sang the whole song as Raffi wrote it, while I played ukulele and library volunteer Jordan held the book and turned the pages. Then I asked 4 kids to share with me things they are thankful for. They said: “my whole family,” “the whole wide world,” “tasteful food,” my mommy and daddy.” Finally, we sang the song a second time filling in the children’s gratitudes. It always feels great to do that activity. And the song, though super simple, is prayer like and meditative. I’m looking forward to singing it again.
Some of the set up for Sing Books this morning at Mary Riley Styles Library. We sure had lots of fun. Next time at MRSL is December 15. Come and sing along!! @LittleCityLibrary
HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Sing Books with Emily OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOOD, an Illustrated Song https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2009/11/20/over-the-river-and-through-the-wood-a-singable-book-lyrics-history-and-sing-along-tracks/
Come Sing Books with Emily this Saturday at Mary Riley Styles Library We'll sing a bunch of songs to celebrate Thanksgiving and a whole lot more favorites! Sing Books with Emily Saturday, November 17, 11 AM at Mary Riley Styles Library 120 N Virginia Ave, Falls Church, VA 22046-3321 @littlecitylibrary
SBWE DAILY SONG 11/8/2018 PREAMBLE SONG (from Schoolhouse Rock), an Illustrated Song BITLY LINK https://bit.ly/2RIQ9Oh There is so much to unpack with the PREAMBLE SONG. This song will be relevant and important for children to know and sing and heard sung as long as we have a United States governed by a Constitution. It seems particularly important right now. For me personally, this was a song I grew up with. Schoolhouse Rock played a huge role in forming my world view and sense of cultural heritage. PREAMBLE SONG was one of my favorites. When I was in Middle School and faced a pop quiz to write out the Preamble to the Constitution, I aced it, because I knew the song. Today’s picture shows a postcard of Mike Wilkins’ art work Preamble, which you can stand in front of by the gift shop at National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. You can enjoy this work while singing two songs to yourself, FIFTY NIFTY STATES (as there is a license plate for every state and the District of Columbia) and THE PREAMBLE SONG (as the plates phonetically express the words of The Preamble). A little note, the song leaves out the words, “of the United States,” at the very beginning. Visit my blog for more information: http://SingBooksWithEmily.wordpress.com Like or Follow Sing Books with Emily on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter Come along and sing along with Emily
#BeAVoter Star Spangled Banner w Sing Books with Emily STAR SPANGLED BANNER in Illustrated Song https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/the-defense-of-fort-mchenry-written-this-day-196-years-ago-by-francis-scott-key/ Link to video on YouTube https://youtu.be/pU_rtFa20bg

Calendar of SBWE Posts

April 2013
M T W T F S S
« Mar   May »
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  
%d bloggers like this: