The Fiddle and the Drum

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"The Fiddle and the Drum"
Song by Joni Mitchell
from the album Clouds
Language English
Released 1969 (1969)
Recorded A&M Studios, Hollywood, CA
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:50
Label Reprise
Songwriter(s) Joni Mitchell
Producer(s) Joni Mitchell, Paul A. Rothchild
Clouds track listing
"Songs to Aging Children Come"
"The Fiddle and the Drum"
"Both Sides, Now"

"The Fiddle and the Drum" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell; it was first recorded by Mitchell on her 1969 album Clouds. It was one of the songs performed by Mitchell on The Dick Cavett Show on August 19, 1969, when Mitchell appeared with some of the performers from Woodstock.[1]

The song's lyrics lament, from the position of an outsider, that America is "fighting us all" and has "[traded] the fiddle for the drum"; however, the singer can "remember/All the good things you are" and asks "Can we help you find the peace and the star?" As an anti-war song, it was one of the songs that became associated with opposition to the Iraq War; in particular, through the 2004 cover by A Perfect Circle.

The song provided the title for the 2007 ballet The Fiddle and the Drum which Mitchell authored with Jean Grand-Maître, the artistic director of the Alberta Ballet Company.[2] The ballet was filmed for an hour-long 2007 film with the same title.[3]


The song has been covered a number of times:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Blog post on "Woodstock Show", with detailed rundown of the music
  2. ^ Seattle Times, February 24, 2010, review of American premiere
  3. ^ Rotten Tomatoes entry for movie