Big Yellow Taxi is one of those songs that seems to have been around forever. Despite being released over 50 years ago, it remains a favorite among ukulele players of all skill levels. The reason for its enduring popularity is simple: the song is easy to play and sounds great on the ukulele. Even beginners can quickly learn the basic chords and strumming pattern, and those who are looking for a challenge can add in some simple embellishments. Whether you’re playing for yourself or for an audience, Big Yellow Taxi is sure to please. So grab your ukulele and give it a try!
Big Yellow Taxi
“Big Yellow Taxi” is a song written, composed, and originally recorded by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell in 1970, and first released on her album Ladies of the Canyon. It was a hit in Canada (No. 14), Australia (No. 6), and the United Kingdom (No. 11) among other countries.
The song is notable for its environmental concern – Mitchell has said that it was inspired by her dismay at seeing a parking lot where a grove of trees had once stood. The “taxi” in the title refers to a development which encroaches on nature:
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
The original version of the song was not released as a single in the United States, but it became a bigger hit there for Mitchell in 1974 when she re-recorded it and included it on her live album Miles of Aisles. The new version peaked at No. 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Since then, “Big Yellow Taxi” has been covered by many artists, including the Neighborhood (whose version was a top 40 hit in the US in 1970), Bob Dylan, and Amy Grant.
Joni Mitchell is a Canadian-American singer-songwriter who reflects on social and philosophical ideals in her music. Joni Mitchell’s music has been told from the perspective of many different people in her lifetime. Whether she was singing about love or describing life as an artist, there were always aspects that made it unique and personal to Jonis such as reflecting on social issues like feminism while also detailing how this affects individuals personally through songwriting which caused them to feel empowered once again after having their voice taken away. Joni Mitchell’s songs often included natural imagery which helped listeners feel closer to the message she was trying to send. Mitchell has said that the song “Big Yellow Taxi” was inspired by her dismay at seeing a parking lot where a grove of trees had once stood.
Big Yellow Taxi Ukulele Tab
The chords for this song are D, G, and A. This is a great song for beginner ukulele players to play because there are only three chords. The original key of the song is in E major, but that is a difficult key for ukulele players to play in, so we transposed it to D major.