Joni Mitchell, universally lauded for her impact and song-writing, is kind of an acquired taste. Thanks to extremely poignant and relevant environmental lyrics and the beautiful refrain, “Don't it always seem to go, you don't know what you got till it's gone” (which was oddly sampled by Janet without any regard to the original meaning), Big Yellow Taxi is one of Mitchell's most popular and accessible songs.
Even reluctant listeners, like my friend Mike you used to torment the little hippy girls in high school by singing, “I wanna shampoo your haaaaaiiir” in a mocking falsetto would have to admit that this song has a lasting and pretty ring to it.
Written during a trip to Hawaii when Joni, “…took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart… this blight on paradise.”