My Fave of Protest Songs

A week ago on Sunrise on channel Seven, there was one segment that discussed about some popular protest songs. Making me remembered I had one that always playing on my mind, Big Yellow Taxi. This is a protest song which originally had been written and sung by Joni Mitchell on 1970, later on 2003 it was recorded again by Counting Crows.

When I was listening the version by Counting Crows for the first time, I thought this song was easy listening. But then, when I finally ‘understand’ English and I did a little search about what actually happened on that year when she wrote the song on 1970, then I realised what exactly she wanted to say on her song.

Quoted from Wikipedia, ‘Big Yellow Taxi

“Mitchell said this about writing the song to journalist Alan McDougall in the early 1970s:

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.[1]

The song is known for its environmental concern – “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot” and “Hey farmer, farmer, put away that DDT now” – and sentimental sound. The line “They took all the trees, and put ’em in a tree museum / And charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em.” refers to Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu, which is a living museum of tropical plants, some rare and endangered.[2]

In the song’s final verse, the political gives way to the personal. Mitchell recounts the departure of her “old man” in the titular “big yellow taxi”, which may refer to the old Metro Toronto Police patrol cars that until 1986 were painted yellow.[3] In many covers the departed one may be interpreted as variously a boyfriend, a husband, or a father. The literal interpretation is that he is walking out on the singer by taking a taxi; otherwise it is assumed he is being taken away by the authorities.”

It’s my fave protest songs of mine, what about you?

I bet you must have one. Let’s share here!🙂

20 thoughts on “My Fave of Protest Songs

  1. wah gua kalo denger lagu biasanya yang penting musik dan melodinya aja. kurang terlalu merhatiin kata2nya.. jadi gua gak tau deh protest song fave gua yang mana.. hahaha

  2. I think most of songs in 70s and 80s are usually contains implications of protest, like Cranberries’ songs. I don’t have any particular favorite in protest songs, so I can’t say much about it.

    • I think this kind of song genre is not stopping on that years only. There are some more on 90’s or on recent years, however, I believe New Direction beat them out from billboard chart lol…😀

  3. Aku sejak dulu hampir jarang mendengar lagu dan menonton film, Chit. Lagu-lagu yang agak ada dalam pikiranku adalah lagunya Yusuf Islam dan Maher Zein. Aku hanya suka membaca buku.

    Nah, berbeda dengan si Mas, yang suka lagu dan nonton film. Makanya si Mas sempat bilang gini : Fey, kalau kita pulang ke Indonesia nanti maukan nemanin nonton film di bioskop? Pasalnya sekarang Mas A’an selalu bisa menonton film terbaru lewat internet😀

  4. Wew, never realized this song was about a protest😛 . Btw, I have always liked this song. The first time I heard it (or at least the first memory of me hearing this song, hahahaha) was when I was playing a football PlayStation game😀 It was used as one of the theme songs or something like that😀 .

    • Really? I thought this song was only played as one movie’s soundtrack. Maybe it was so popular on that day until that game played the song too, no make sense tough… lol…😀

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