Roberta Joan Mitchell was born in 1943 in Canada.Her stage name is Joni Mitchell. She writes and performs her own songs. Her music has folk, pop, rock and jazz influences in it. Her songs are often about social or environmental issues as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, sadness and joy.
When Joni was 9, she caught Polio in an epidemic. she was in hospital for weeks and after this she decided she wanted to sing or dance. Later in her life, she taught herself how to play the guitar using a songbook to teach herself. Polio had affected her fingers and she had to work out how to play some of the notes in a different way. It is said that this improvised way of playing led her to break free and be more creative in her songwriting.
Big Yellow Taxi
This is a song about the way the world is changing: the environment is being destroyed and the beauty of the world is lost. Joni said of the 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 ... That's when I sat down and wrote the song."