Get smart curated videos delivered to your inbox.   SUBSCRIBE
The Kid Should See This

Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell (1970)

Watch more with these video collections:

Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell performs Big Yellow Taxi live on stage at The Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970. She was 26 years old and the crowd was estimated at more than 600,000. In 1996, Mitchell explained the origins of her 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. When it first came out, it was a regional hit in Hawaii because people there realized their paradise was being chewed up. It took 20 years for that song to sink in to people most other places in the country. That is a powerful little song because there have been cases in a couple of cities of parking lots being torn up and turned into parks because of it.

joni mitchell - The Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970
joni mitchell - live on stage
Though she’d turned it around by this song, the festival crowd was a challenge for Mitchell. Read more about it at NPR.

In case you missed it: Joni Mitchell performs The Circle Game.

This Webby award-winning video collection exists to help teachers, librarians, and families spark kid wonder and curiosity. TKSST features smarter, more meaningful content than what's usually served up by YouTube's algorithms, and amplifies the creators who make that content.

Curated, kid-friendly, independently-published. Support this mission by becoming a sustaining member today.

🌈 Watch these videos next...

Etta James: Something’s Got a Hold On Me

Rion Nakaya

Joni Mitchell performs The Circle Game (1968)

Rion Nakaya

Ella Fitzgerald scat singing One Note Samba (1969)

Rion Nakaya

Paul Simon Sings ‘Me & Julio’ on Sesame Street

Rion Nakaya

Didn’t It Rain: Sister Rosetta Tharpe Live in Manchester (1964)

Rion Nakaya

Ain’t Got No, I Got Life – Nina Simone plays live in London (1968)

Rion Nakaya

Louis Armstrong performs Basin Street Blues and Reveille

Rion Nakaya

Aretha Franklin sings Won’t Be Long (1964)

Rion Nakaya

Love Me Or Leave Me performed by Nina Simone

Rion Nakaya