Little Green

Program Notes:

Little Green tells the true story of 21-year-old Joni giving birth to a daughter in 1965 and realizing she couldn’t raise her on her own. At that time, Joni was a penniless artist living in Toronto, with no inkling that a big break would come for her just three years later. She decided that adoption was the best for the future of her girl, named Kelly Dale (hence “little green”). The song, released on Joni’s 1971 Blue album, imagines the small moments of the girl’s life with her new family: happiness and sometimes sorrow. Our performance on March 9 was to be the world premiere of this arrangement, but we decided to let the cat out of the bag at our Orpheum performance for the VSO Day of Music back in January. If you heard us there, you heard the world premiere! We love how Kate has captured the intimacy of this emotional story in her a cappella arrangement.


This lists any discs, concerts or collections where this piece is included.



Born with the moon in Cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who’ve made her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer

He went to California
Hearing that everything’s warmer there
So you write him a letter and say “Her eyes are blue”
He sends you a poem and she’s lost to you
Little green he’s a non-conformer

Just a little green
Like the color when the spring is born
There’ll be crocuses to bring to school tomorrow

Just a little green
Like the nights when the Northern lights perform
There’ll be icicles and birthday clothes
And sometimes there’ll be sorrow

Child with a child pretending
Weary of lies you are sending home
So you sign all the papers in the family name
You’re sad and you’re sorry but you’re not ashamed
Little green, have a happy ending