Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Don't feel like talking sports? This public forum is the place to do it!
User avatar
shrek2
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:53 pm
MLB: SF Giants
NBA: Dubs
NFL: 9ers
Location: Mainland

Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by shrek2 »

I never knew this about the song but was suspicious. "Big Yellow Taxi" was written about Hawaii.
In 1996, speaking to journalist Robert Hilburn, Mitchell said this about writing the song:
I wrote 'Big Yellow Taxi' on my first trip to Hawaii. I 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. That's when I sat down and wrote the song.[5]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Yellow_Taxi
Some of the lyrics.
They paved paradise
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


Link
The tree museum is the Foster Botanical Gardens.

User avatar
ubercow
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 2833
Joined: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:03 am
MLB: KC
NBA: NYK, DAL
Location: ¡uɹɐqɹǝqṉ
Contact:

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by ubercow »

pretty interesting. used to hear it when the counting crows/vanessa carlton cover of this was on heavy rotation on radio a couple decades ago.

the pink hotel reference is a pretty dead giveaway

User avatar
BigWave96744
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 21923
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2003 4:37 pm
MLB: Yankees
NBA: Sixers
NFL: Dolphins

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by BigWave96744 »

wow 😎

User avatar
dakineguy
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: East side of Kauai

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by dakineguy »

Yeah. I was a closet Joni Mitchel fan back in the days. I used to only listen to her with headphones so that my braddah braddahs wouldn't hear me listening. LOL She's not Led Zeppelin or Hendrix. When this song came out I wasn't quite sure what to make of it but it's a great song. An interesting story about this song is that I ended up taking a geography class at UH because the professor played this song on the first day of class which I had mistakenly sat in for because they had changed the building for the class I was supposed to take but the sign was at the front door and I went in the side door. Between the song and the professors presentation I was sold. The next semester I took geography 100 LOL and it was interesting.
GO WARRIORS !!! PLAY HARD!!!!
Ohana Makou
ex-lounge lizard, ex-stair creature, ex-Jhaller

User avatar
shrek2
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:53 pm
MLB: SF Giants
NBA: Dubs
NFL: 9ers
Location: Mainland

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by shrek2 »

dakineguy wrote:
Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:56 am
The next semester I took geography 100 LOL and it was interesting.
If it wasn't for Geology 100 or 101, I would have known about plate tectonics which came up in a GMAT exam.

User avatar
dakineguy
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: East side of Kauai

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by dakineguy »

I have to say my first reaction to the song was she was another haole bitching about what she doesn't like about Hawaii. But then I realized she was bitching about the haoles.
GO WARRIORS !!! PLAY HARD!!!!
Ohana Makou
ex-lounge lizard, ex-stair creature, ex-Jhaller

User avatar
shrek2
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:53 pm
MLB: SF Giants
NBA: Dubs
NFL: 9ers
Location: Mainland

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by shrek2 »

I think the song was about the ecology and how Hawaii was getting paved over. It got a lot worse since she wrote it back in 1971. She looks like she was a humble person back in the day.


Link

UnBiasFan
All-conference
All-conference
Posts: 1153
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:28 am

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by UnBiasFan »

dakineguy wrote:
Sat Jul 04, 2020 4:15 pm
I have to say my first reaction to the song was she was another haole bitching about what she doesn't like about Hawaii. But then I realized she was bitching about the haoles.
That’s interesting mythology that continues to this day. You know the part about the haoles being the ones that paved paradise. LOL to that. When was the last time you saw a haole driving a concrete truck? lol

User avatar
shrek2
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:53 pm
MLB: SF Giants
NBA: Dubs
NFL: 9ers
Location: Mainland

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by shrek2 »

I never really knew this was about Hawaii. It came to my attention recently because some lady who goes to karaoke a lot, cannot now. So, she engages in Zoom Karaoke which is I guess a bunch of people with similar desires get together on Zoom with this Shelter In Place situation. That's where she learned about the song and passed the info on.

Since 1971, let's see, Kukui Plaza went up, a lot of the downtown high rises were built and of course Waikiki went vertical. Mililani High School opened. Maybe a current version of the song should be paved paradise put up a railway system. :lol:

UnBiasFan
All-conference
All-conference
Posts: 1153
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:28 am

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by UnBiasFan »

shrek2 wrote:
Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:02 am
I never really knew this was about Hawaii. It came to my attention recently because some lady who goes to karaoke a lot, cannot now. So, she engages in Zoom Karaoke which is I guess a bunch of people with similar desires get together on Zoom with this Shelter In Place situation. That's where she learned about the song and passed the info on.

Since 1971, let's see, Kukui Plaza went up, a lot of the downtown high rises were built and of course Waikiki went vertical. Mililani High School opened. Maybe a current version of the song should be paved paradise put up a railway system. :lol:
Fortunately, we are too incompetent to put up a railway system. The is why the farmland on the Ewa plain is still mostly farmland. The paving will continue. And Joni Mitchell was using the collective “we”. Unfortunately, some can only see the world through race or politics. That doesn’t stop me from not judging her by the color of her skin or politics. I sing the song without hate towards white people or hippies. And I use the collective “we”. :lol:

User avatar
dakineguy
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: East side of Kauai

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by dakineguy »

Well I don't see many Hawaiians driving around in limousines. The concrete truck driver isn't pouring much concrete anywhere his boss hasn't hired him to. Basically it's investors who pave the paradise whatever color they are. I'm a Caucasian and to me haole was always about attitude not color of skin. They don't care about the land or people of Hawaii and think they are better than others. I thought originally she was coming from that space "I'm better than you and I will tell you what to do with your land and how to live your life." But over time I came to realize it wasn't that but a kind of protest song about the destruction of Hawaii's natural beauty.
GO WARRIORS !!! PLAY HARD!!!!
Ohana Makou
ex-lounge lizard, ex-stair creature, ex-Jhaller

User avatar
SundayJam
*True Sports Fan*
*True Sports Fan*
Posts: 6672
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2007 4:51 pm
Location: Bangkok

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by SundayJam »



Link

The Hawaiian version is Waimanalo Blues...originally by Country Comfort.

UnBiasFan
All-conference
All-conference
Posts: 1153
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 6:28 am

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by UnBiasFan »

dakineguy wrote:
Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:02 pm
Well I don't see many Hawaiians driving around in limousines. The concrete truck driver isn't pouring much concrete anywhere his boss hasn't hired him to. Basically it's investors who pave the paradise whatever color they are. I'm a Caucasian and to me haole was always about attitude not color of skin. They don't care about the land or people of Hawaii and think they are better than others. I thought originally she was coming from that space "I'm better than you and I will tell you what to do with your land and how to live your life." But over time I came to realize it wasn't that but a kind of protest song about the destruction of Hawaii's natural beauty.
This is the fallacy. That the rich man or the white man or some bad guys paved paradise. Yeh, it feels good to sing along with Joni Mitchell or Brother Iz. But if we put emotion and feel good songs aside, we can see that paradise was paved by rich, poor, and middle class. We exchanged paradise so we can have jobs. Look at the longshoremen, truckers, and other trades. Plenty of high paying jobs and many held by Hawaiians and other locals. And it is mythology that all the white guys are all telling the locals how to live. Sure, you can find annoying haoles if that is what you are looking for. But let’s be honest, it is mostly locals that paved paradise and made it a parking lot. When Joni Mitchell sings “we” I think she is telling “us”, all of “us” to look in the mirror. I think we should also recognize that life is more complex than a song. For many local families, paving paradise wasn’t as bad as you might think. It was their ticket out of poverty.

User avatar
dakineguy
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2768
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:33 pm
Location: East side of Kauai

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by dakineguy »

Yes so you agree that she was just a person injecting her opinion into the dialog about Hawaii without consideration for the people who live here? I'm really not sure what is the point but my original reaction was "how dare she tell us how to live in Hawaii." Now I realize it was just a protest song about the transformation of what SHE once considered paradise into what SHE thinks is no longer paradise. So maybe for people who are hired by the tourist industry it still is paradise or maybe not . Either way it's their choice to view it that way. For sure many tourists who come to Hawaii still think it's paradise concrete and all. I lived in Hawaii all my life and I don't think of it as paradise. It's just home.
GO WARRIORS !!! PLAY HARD!!!!
Ohana Makou
ex-lounge lizard, ex-stair creature, ex-Jhaller

User avatar
shrek2
Hall of famer
Hall of famer
Posts: 2172
Joined: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:53 pm
MLB: SF Giants
NBA: Dubs
NFL: 9ers
Location: Mainland

Re: Joni Mitchell's song about Hawaii

Post by shrek2 »

dakineguy wrote:
Tue Jul 07, 2020 9:35 am
It's just home.
For those who grew up in Hawaii and living abroad, this song has special meaning. Sound quality is bad.


Link

Post Reply