They took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum
And then they charged all the people twenty-five bucks just to see 'em

from Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi Lyrics on Rap Genius

Meaning

This song was written around the time of the beginning of environmental and preservation movements of the 1960s.
In 2012, you don’t have to go far to find, for example, a mining museum where there used to be a mine, or a recording studio museum where there was a studio. The “tree museum” has, in effect, almost come to pass.

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