Amanda Palmer has released a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi” in collaboration with Zoe Keating, Sean Ono Lennon and John Cameron Mitchell.
“Big Yellow Taxi” was originally released in 1970 by Canadian singer Joni Mitchell on her album Ladies on the Canyon. According to Los Angeles Times, Mitchell spoke about writing the iconic song, saying, “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.”
Palmer and her collaborators have taken Mitchell’s message relating to environmental sustainability and recontextualized it in an effort to benefit efforts to protect natural resources. According to Brooklyn Vegan, the new Palmer cover, released via Bandcamp, will donate all proceeds from downloads to Natural Resources Defense Council. Palmer said of the new release, “this not-quite-as-jolly-as-joni cover was recorded it live at Pioneerworks in brooklyn, new york while rehearsing for a one-night only super-group performance for Maria ‘Brainpickings’ Popova’s annual poetry + science event ‘The Universe In Verse.’
Palmer goes on to say 100% of the sales will go toward “The Natural Resources Defense Council (www.nrdc.org), who, in their own words, ‘work to safeguard the earth – its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends.’ the NRDC has been doing advocacy and litigation work on behalf of climate change, clean water and our precious earth since 1970. PLEASE BE GENEROUS WHEN DOWNLOADING!”
Check out the new cover followed by the original below.
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat