Colony Collapse Disorder? Joni Mitchell's song warned of danger to the bees.
The hit song Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell
In Joni Mitchell's hit song Big Yellow Taxi she sang: "Hey, farmer, farmer, put away your DDT, give me spots on my apples but leave me the birds and the bees, please."
And she warned in the chorus line:"Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone." Sadly her song has proved prophetic in the case of honeybees that are on the decline worldwide.
They are dying out because of what has been termed "Colony Collapse Disorder" (CCD), and one of the theorised reasons for it is the use of pesticides.
Big Yellow Taxi
Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell in Concert 1970
Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer-songwriter
Big Yellow Taxi, an environmental protest, is just one subject covered in Joni Mitchell's long song-writing career. She is another singer-songwriter from Canada, the country that has also given us Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Gordon Lightfoot and many others.
Joni gained success as a songwriter in the mid-sixties when songs of hers were recorded by other established acts including Judy Collins, who had a big hit in 1967 with Mitchell's Both Sides Now. Collins also recorded a cover of Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning .
In 1968, Joni got a deal with the Reprise record label and her debut album known as Joni Mitchell or Song to a Seagull was released. This followed a helping hand from David Crosby of The Byrds and later of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. It was Crosby that convinced Reprise bosses that they should sign her.
The year later, the album Clouds followed, and included Joni Mitchell's own versions of Chelsea Morning and Both Sides Now . In 1970, Mitchell was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance for this album.
Joni Mitchell had painted the artwork for both her albums and being a gifted artist is another side of Joni Mitchell's career and talents.
MItchell appeared live at both Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festivals.
Her version of the song Woodstock was included on her third album Ladies of the Canyon, that came out in 1970. Big Yellow Taxi was another track on the album as well as being released as hit single.
The super-group Crosby, Stills and Nash also recorded Joni's song Woodstock, and appeared at the massive festival of the same name.
Blue was Joni Mitchell's fourth album. It was released in 1971 and is considered her finest work by many people. Songs include Carey, The Last Time I Saw Richard and A Case of You .
Besides her distinctive and beautiful voice and her lyrics, Joni Mitchell's unique style of guitar-playing was another part of her successful formula as a singer-songwriter and performer. She often used open tunings and a rhythmic style. There have been many women singer-songwriters who have copied Joni Mitchell over the years.
In 1972, Joni Mitchell's fifth album For The Roses was released.
In 1974, her album Court and Spark marked a change of direction for her and was als o her most successful album, peaking at number one in the Cashbox charts at the time.
She had moved away from her folksy style to incorporate jazz and jazz fusion into her music. It spawned hit singles that included Help Me that peaked at number seven in the singles charts and was her highest position for a singles record.
Joni Mitchell went on to record many other albums and to take part in collaborations with other acts including Willie Nelson and Tom Petty. Very many artists have named Joni Mitchell as a big influence on their own work.
Madonna, though you probably wouldn't guess, counts Mitchell as one of her musical mentors. She is quoted by Wikipedia as saying:
"I was really, really into Joni Mitchell. I knew every word to Court and Spark; I worshiped her when I was in high school. Blue is amazing. I would have to say of all the women I've heard, she had the most profound effect on me from a lyrical point of view."
Very sadly, Joni Mitchell has had to retire from the music business and is currently being treated for the controversial Morgellons disease that she is suffering from. The disease is characterised by a crawling sensation felt by sufferers and strange coloured fibres that emerge from the skin.
Traditional medical science has refused to accept Morgellons as a real illness, and people suffering from it had been labelled as "delusional", however, the number of sufferers has increased over the years and Joni Mitchell has become the most high profile person with the syndrome.
The LA Times on April 22, 2010, quoted Mitchell as saying: "I have this weird, incurable disease that seems like it's from outer space, but my health's the best it's been in a while."
She fully intends to beat Morgellons and is going to use her celebrity status to give credibility to this new illness that has not been given the recognition needed.
- Home - Morgellons Research Foundation
Morgellons is an unexplained and debilitating condition that has emerged as a public health concern. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received an increased number of inquiries from the public, health care providers,
© 2010 Steve Andrews
More by this Author
Anthony Reynolds is a British singer-songwriter and author. His debut solo album is British Ballads. He came to fame as the singer for the band Jack.
What inspired Steve Andrews the Bard of Ely to become a singer-songwriter. He talks about his influences, songs and past performances.
Plastic pollution is a worldwide environmental problem that is a danger to marine life, including seabirds, turtles and whales, and plastic has entered the food chain so is also a danger to humans.