Joni Mitchell: Big Yellow Taxi

Here’s Joni Mitchell‘s lovely eco-yodel of 1970:

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

http://jonimitchell.com

The line about the “tree museum” refers to Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu, where Joni Mitchell was inspired to write this song. She’s also singing about the end of romance, with her “old man” (ihr Alter) leaving her. Did you know that “the birds and the bees” is a popular euphemism or metaphor for courtship and sex? No? So to tell someone about the birds and the bees is jemanden aufklären.

IMHO none of the many cover versions of this song can match Joni’s warbling wail (ihre trällernde Klage).

englischlernen mit liedern :-) learning english with songs

Published by

Anne

Teaching English for business communication skills, writing online for learners, translating, sailing whenever I can, from Washington, D.C.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *