They Paved Paradise

Lyrics are so important to me and that’s why I’ll never be a fan of the Foo Fighters. The lyrics of this Joni Mitchell number (perhaps her most famous) are near perfect in the they lead up to the point of the song, all the while giving you examples of it (‘That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘Til it’s gone.’) And until you get to the crux of the matter, you’re wondering about that mysterious ‘big yellow taxi’. A love story with a film noir vibe and an environmental message – I should use it as a prompt at one of my creative writing classes.

Big Yellow Taxi

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
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then 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
‘Til 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
‘Til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Late last night
I heard the screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Come and took away my old man
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

I said
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
‘Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

SONGWRITER
JONI MITCHELL

PUBLISHED BY
LYRICS © SONY/ATV

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