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Joni Mitchell - Coyote - lyrics


Coyote is a mythological character common to many cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America , based on the coyote ( Canis latrans ) animal. This character is usually male and is generally anthropomorphic although he may have some coyote-like physical features such as fur, pointed ears, yellow eyes, a tail and claws. The myths and legends which include Coyote vary widely from culture to culture.

The word "coyote" was originally a Spanish corruption of the Nahuatl (Aztec) word for the animal, coyotl . Coyote mythlore is one of the most popular among Native American people. Coyote is in some lore said to be a trickster.

Coyote has been compared to both the Scandinavian Loki , and also Prometheus , who shared with Coyote the trick of having stolen fire from the gods as a gift for mankind, and Anansi , a mythological culture hero from Western African mythology. In Eurasia, rather than a coyote, a fox is often featured as a trickster hero, ranging from kitsune (fox) tales in Japan to the Reynard cycle in Western Europe.

Claude Lévi-Strauss , French anthropologist proposed a structuralist theory that suggests that Coyote and Crow obtained mythic status because they are mediator animals between life and death. [1]

Coyote is featured in the culture of the following groups who live in the area covered by the state of California: the Karuk , [2] the Tongva of Southern California, the Ohlone mythology of Northern California, the Miwok mythology of Northern California, and the Pomo mythology of Northern California.

A creation myth of the Maidu of Northern California recounts that as the Creator God was fashioning various creatures out of clay, Coyote tried to do the same. But as he kept laughing, his efforts did not turn out well. Creator God told him that if he stopped laughing, he might do better. Coyote denied laughing. Thus, the first lie was told. [3]

According to Joni's own words, Coyote was written on November 25, 1975 - somewhere between Hartford, Connecticut and Augusta, Maine. She was traveling with Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review . At the Augusta concert on Nov 26, Joni introduces her very first performance of the song saying "this one was just written yesterday so it's...." as her thought trailed off.

It's interesting to note that she had not yet decided if it was going to be "prisoner of the white lines" or "victim of the white lines" at the first performance. The melody is not quite fleshed out and (to our ears, at least) neither were the final guitar chords. Also, there were only 2 of the 4 verses written/performed (what ended up as verses 1 and 3 on the Hejira album).

By the time the Thunder clapped into New York City on December 8, she was still calling it "a brand new song" but had fleshed it out a bit more. All 4 verses were now in place, but not quite in their final form.

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Coyote is a mythological character common to many cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America , based on the coyote ( Canis latrans ) animal. This character is usually male and is generally anthropomorphic although he may have some coyote-like physical features such as fur, pointed ears, yellow eyes, a tail and claws. The myths and legends which include Coyote vary widely from culture to culture.

The word "coyote" was originally a Spanish corruption of the Nahuatl (Aztec) word for the animal, coyotl . Coyote mythlore is one of the most popular among Native American people. Coyote is in some lore said to be a trickster.

Coyote has been compared to both the Scandinavian Loki , and also Prometheus , who shared with Coyote the trick of having stolen fire from the gods as a gift for mankind, and Anansi , a mythological culture hero from Western African mythology. In Eurasia, rather than a coyote, a fox is often featured as a trickster hero, ranging from kitsune (fox) tales in Japan to the Reynard cycle in Western Europe.

Claude Lévi-Strauss , French anthropologist proposed a structuralist theory that suggests that Coyote and Crow obtained mythic status because they are mediator animals between life and death. [1]

Coyote is featured in the culture of the following groups who live in the area covered by the state of California: the Karuk , [2] the Tongva of Southern California, the Ohlone mythology of Northern California, the Miwok mythology of Northern California, and the Pomo mythology of Northern California.

A creation myth of the Maidu of Northern California recounts that as the Creator God was fashioning various creatures out of clay, Coyote tried to do the same. But as he kept laughing, his efforts did not turn out well. Creator God told him that if he stopped laughing, he might do better. Coyote denied laughing. Thus, the first lie was told. [3]

According to Joni's own words, Coyote was written on November 25, 1975 - somewhere between Hartford, Connecticut and Augusta, Maine. She was traveling with Dylan and the Rolling Thunder Review . At the Augusta concert on Nov 26, Joni introduces her very first performance of the song saying "this one was just written yesterday so it's...." as her thought trailed off.

It's interesting to note that she had not yet decided if it was going to be "prisoner of the white lines" or "victim of the white lines" at the first performance. The melody is not quite fleshed out and (to our ears, at least) neither were the final guitar chords. Also, there were only 2 of the 4 verses written/performed (what ended up as verses 1 and 3 on the Hejira album).

By the time the Thunder clapped into New York City on December 8, she was still calling it "a brand new song" but had fleshed it out a bit more. All 4 verses were now in place, but not quite in their final form.

Coyote is a mythological character common to many cultures of the indigenous peoples of North America , based on the coyote ( Canis latrans ) animal. This character is usually male and is generally anthropomorphic although he may have some coyote-like physical features such as fur, pointed ears, yellow eyes, a tail and claws. The myths and legends which include Coyote vary widely from culture to culture.

The word "coyote" was originally a Spanish corruption of the Nahuatl (Aztec) word for the animal, coyotl . Coyote mythlore is one of the most popular among Native American people. Coyote is in some lore said to be a trickster.

Coyote has been compared to both the Scandinavian Loki , and also Prometheus , who shared with Coyote the trick of having stolen fire from the gods as a gift for mankind, and Anansi , a mythological culture hero from Western African mythology. In Eurasia, rather than a coyote, a fox is often featured as a trickster hero, ranging from kitsune (fox) tales in Japan to the Reynard cycle in Western Europe.

Claude Lévi-Strauss , French anthropologist proposed a structuralist theory that suggests that Coyote and Crow obtained mythic status because they are mediator animals between life and death. [1]

Coyote is featured in the culture of the following groups who live in the area covered by the state of California: the Karuk , [2] the Tongva of Southern California, the Ohlone mythology of Northern California, the Miwok mythology of Northern California, and the Pomo mythology of Northern California.

A creation myth of the Maidu of Northern California recounts that as the Creator God was fashioning various creatures out of clay, Coyote tried to do the same. But as he kept laughing, his efforts did not turn out well. Creator God told him that if he stopped laughing, he might do better. Coyote denied laughing. Thus, the first lie was told. [3]