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Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi
Album: Ladies of the Canyon
Avg rating:
7.3

Your rating:
Total ratings: 472









Released: 1970
Length: 2:14
Plays (last 30 days): 1
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em 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
And put up a parking lot

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that 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 it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

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
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
Comments (41)add comment
The title seems completely wrong for the song.
 kcar wrote:

One of the songs that defined the 70s. Very sweet and pure voice. 
 

Indeed, and Joni sounds so, so. young here!
One of the few Joni Mitchell songs I actually like.

One of the songs that defined the 70s. Very sweet and pure voice. 
The Amy Grant's version is definitely much better...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiJWwWP1g7w
A "10" for GODDESS-LIKE.
Odd... I'm surprised I've never managed to hear this on RP before. It's neither a favorite nor something I hate, but it seems like something I would have encountered here a lot. I'm waffling between 6 and 7, but leaning towards 7.
Chewbacca paved paradise and put up a parking lot?
 LowPhreak wrote:
Joni's a stand alone in the music world; unique in that she sounds like no one else and as much as many have tried to, no one sounds like her because none of them have the ability to sing those lines over top of those changes. It's not strumming when she plays.

She did an album with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorious, Lyle Mayes, Michael Brecker and Don Elias and toured with them in 1979/80, some of the greatest names in jazz. Getting on stage and actually playing with them was a feat in itself. They played her music which says it all. She's one of the great benchmarks for lyric writing, singing and playing by one individual. A true giant in her field.
 
Well said, LowPhreak.
I caught a show on that Metheny/Pastorius tour; incredible!
 daveesh wrote:
good god. this is just awful. 

 
Apparently not an unusual thing for you to think. 
 daveesh wrote:
good god. this is just awful. 

 
Really? Wow, ok. I love it. 
 daveesh wrote:
good god. this is just awful. 

 
good god. these comments are just awful. 

 
 daveesh wrote:
good god. this is just awful. 

 
Joni's a stand alone in the music world; unique in that she sounds like no one else and as much as many have tried to, no one sounds like her because none of them have the ability to sing those lines over top of those changes. It's not strumming when she plays.

She did an album with Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorious, Lyle Mayes, Michael Brecker and Don Elias and toured with them in 1979/80, some of the greatest names in jazz. Getting on stage and actually playing with them was a feat in itself. They played her music which says it all. She's one of the great benchmarks for lyric writing, singing and playing by one individual. A true giant in her field.
Heard it a zillion times. It was classic then, still is, now it's funnier, more ironic and more true than ever. 
Love PSD - thanks for giving us that outlet.
Takes me back to festivals of the early 70's.......
 
good god. this is just awful. 
Great to hear....joy.....
 
 markybx wrote:
Hmmm, after Paco de Lucia I want to give this a 3 or 4. Maybe better if I don't vote this time {#Idea}

 
+1
Hmmm, after Paco de Lucia I want to give this a 3 or 4. Maybe better if I don't vote this time {#Idea}
 dwlangham wrote:
I don't get it. I don't hate this in the way that I actively loathe some music. I just can't hear what it is others find so enchanting about Joni Mitchell.

 
it's her beautiful voice! 
and the fact that she is creative and soulful 
So old this song, but still we have the same problem, nothing changed in more than 35 years! That's sad!{#Arghhh}{#Headache}
Joni Mitchel hurts my ears and brain... please stop... or shoot me....
 mdfergy wrote:
There's only one song I like bu Joni, and this is not it. Too squeaky/whining like most of her songs...
 

 
It's an Earth Day theme!  Broader perspective recommended.
There's only one song I like bu Joni, and this is not it. Too squeaky/whining like most of her songs...
 
A great song.
I don't get it. I don't hate this in the way that I actively loathe some music. I just can't hear what it is others find so enchanting about Joni Mitchell.
 Steely_D wrote:
Folks think of this as a song about nature: pave paradise, put up a parking lot. It's really a way for her to express her personal loss.
The first few verses are just an introduction to the real point of the song. A big yellow taxi took away my old man...
 

 
It's both.  Lovely song. 
big hit back then
a lot of covers too 
I just can't do Joni
Folks think of this as a song about nature: pave paradise, put up a parking lot. It's really a way for her to express her personal loss.
The first few verses are just an introduction to the real point of the song. A big yellow taxi took away my old man...
 
Didn't like it then, don't like it now - 1
Dear Monsanto: 

Hey farmer farmer 
Put away that DDT now 
Give me spots on my apples 
But leave me the birds and the bees 
Please! 

 
angelic &  the best of her time...  get better soon, Joanie
Please get well Joni
Remember my Mom singing to the radio on the way to school. Like 3RD grade or something...
 
well now, wasn't that irritating.
It's obviously and unequivocally an all-time great song.

Still, the little giggles at the end that must have seemed so playful at the time get more annoying every time I hear it.

Still, a classic! 
This song is such a bold sleight-of-hand.

Parking lot, trees, DDT, blah blah blah. Everyone thinks this is a song about ecology and business and corporate creep until...

"A big yellow taxi took away my old man. You don't know what you've got till it's gone."

It's a sad song about romantic loss, but she doesn't tell you that until the very end.

 kingart wrote:
First. 
Famous.
Last.
Words.  

 
Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone...

One of the great singalongs.  40+ years young. 
 
First. 
Famous.
Last.
Words.