Sunday, May 21, 2006

Big Yellow Taxi as a Conservative Anthem

Now that I know how rock lyrics are supposed to be interpreted, I realize that I've been wrong all these years about Big Yellow Taxi. Let me explain. The Pretenders Song, My City Was Gone, is apparently a conservative song - the 13th most conservative rock song of all time:
Virtually every conservative knows the bass line, which supplies the theme music for Limbaugh’s radio show. But the lyrics also display a Jane Jacobs sensibility against central planning and a conservative’s dissatisfaction with rapid change: "I went back to Ohio / But my pretty countryside / Had been paved down the middle / By a government that had no pride."
Isn't that more or less the same as "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot"? Once I realized how I was supposed to interpret lyrics, I knew that I was supposed to take "They took all the trees, and put em in a tree museum / And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them" literally - Joni is endorsing capitalism, and the preservation of forests through private enterprise rather than government regulation. Go Joni!

He also makes Sweet Home Alabama the #4 most conservative song,
A tribute to the region of America that liberals love to loathe, taking a shot at Neil Young’s Canadian arrogance along the way: "A Southern man don’t need him around anyhow."
News flash? And Godzilla?
A 1977 classic about a big green monster — and more: "History shows again and again / How nature points up the folly of men."
Is there even a conservative way to interpret that passage, even if you're completely ignorant of its anti-nuclear origin?

Read the list - it's mostly wonderful self-parody.

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