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Joni Mitchell ~ "Big Yellow Taxi"

There’s no more appropriate song for Earth Day than one with the refrain of “They paved paradise / And put up a parking lot.” Joni Mitchell has said most of the song was inspired by a trip to Hawaii, and that famous line was the result of her hotel room view – lush mountains in the background and pavement stretching far beneath it. The idea of replacing the landscape with a giant parking lot is particularly offensive to some, considering that we think of parking lots as ugly, dirty wastelands that seem to be empty more often than they’re in use. In one of her most famous songs, Mitchell also commented on human nature – “Don’t it always seem to go / That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone” – and the fact that people were just starting to become aware of their impact as the things they enjoyed began to disappear.