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Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi
Album: Ladies of the Canyon
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 163









Released: 1970
Length: 2:13
Plays (last 30 days): 0
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swingin' hotspot
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They took all the trees, put them in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

Hey farmer, farmer, put away the DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees, please
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till its gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop, shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

Late last night, I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi took away my old man
Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

I said, don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got till it's gone?
They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
(Shoo-bop-bop-bop-bop)

They paved paradise, put up a parking lot
Ah ha ha ha
Comments (30)add comment

Joni Mitchell - "Big Yellow Taxi" Live (1970):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgMEPk6fvpg

"wow man!"


Hinkamp wrote:
The Counting Crowes version was a nice break from this.
For me it was the first time ever to hear the original, but yeah, I like them both.
Nicely done, Joni.
Hey, Bill: I just Google mapped in on Paradise. I can see your house, but I can't see the parking lot!! :biggrin:
Paul_in_Australia wrote:
Yes. Indeed. The best song, ever. Composed. ( Apart from Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. That must be THE best song ever composed )
Easy.
The Counting Crowes version was a nice break from this.
Yes! This song is brilliant.
OOooh ba ba ba ba ba! :dance:
fuh2 wrote:
More true now than ever. Perhaps the best song ever composed.
Yes. Indeed. The best song, ever. Composed. ( Apart from Crazy Horses by The Osmonds. That must be THE best song ever composed )
I think that so many people miss what I think is the real point of the tune. It's a bit of sleight-of-hand. She spends most of the song talking about paving paradise, and missing the trees, and playing into the whole Zager-and-Evans end-of-ecology thing. All well and good. Then she throws the curveball at you. A big yellow taxi took away my old man... You don't know what you've got till it's gone. This is a song about love and heartbreak, couched at the beginning in a metaphor that she only comes clean about as it's finishing. It's much sadder than it appears superficially, and a really nicely written song.
window wrote:
This is probably sacrilege to most of you, but I actually prefer the Counting Crows version. In it, the guitar and drums drop out just prior to the last verse, which is sung softly over strings. And the line "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" is now applied to the loss of love from another person instead of destruction of the environment. It's a dramatic shift in context, and the shift in dynamics lends the lyrics more emotional weight. Then again, the original version has Joni Mitchell's beautiful voice.
I'll have to agree. Though, that little laugh at the end is sexy.
cattgirl813 wrote:
Wouldn't it be cool to hear "Nothing But Flowers" after this?
either you've heard this sequence before, or Bill liked your idea today :P
thefoodoflove wrote:
What a voice!!
It's always struck me that doesn't sound like Joni. Well, it does, but it sounds different -- has a "cuter" quality to it. Maybe it's just that it's all in a higher range than most of her stuff. Whatever, it's a fabulous song.
window wrote:
This is probably sacrilege to most of you, but I actually prefer the Counting Crows version. .... Then again, the original version has Joni Mitchell's beautiful voice.
Why yes. It does. And it is. But at least you can give her some cred. for the voice. She sounds so young, doesn't she? She was.
More true now than ever. Perhaps the best song ever composed.
IMO, Joni's second-best album, after Blue. Most excellent.
redeyespy wrote:
The only version you'll ever need.
This is probably sacrilege to most of you, but I actually prefer the Counting Crows version. In it, the guitar and drums drop out just prior to the last verse, which is sung softly over strings. And the line "you don't know what you've got till it's gone" is now applied to the loss of love from another person instead of destruction of the environment. It's a dramatic shift in context, and the shift in dynamics lends the lyrics more emotional weight. Then again, the original version has Joni Mitchell's beautiful voice.
wonderful song..
I've got a deep mistrust of songs with a blatant "message" - and a deep distaste of Mrs Mitchell. What's with that artificial laugh? Ewwwww makes me cringe. :stop: That said, I still give it a 4. Let's be civil. :mrgreen:
Cruithne3753 wrote:
A nice song. The only thing that bugs a little bit, is at the end when she puts on a silly voice and laughs at herself for being so funny...
Gee, I always found that part rather charming.
:dance:
A nice song. The only thing that bugs a little bit, is at the end when she puts on a silly voice and laughs at herself for being so funny...
Wouldn't it be cool to hear "Nothing But Flowers" after this?
My least favorite song ever.
bobrk wrote:
Are there any other Joni Mitchell versions?
I'm sure there are some demos, live versions by Joni. I was referring to the gratuitous covers (Amy Grant, Counting Crows, etc).
Prophetic. We've paved paradise, and are starting to pay the price.
redeyespy wrote:
The only version you'll ever need.
Are there any other Joni Mitchell versions?
What a voice!!
The only version you'll ever need.