“The earth is what we all have in common.” - Wendell Berry
This first video isn’t a song per se, but it is so articulate and presents our relationship to the planet in such a compelling way that I felt I had to include it. Let’s listen:
Which of course brings us to songs about our misuse and abuse of the planet. What struck me as I researched songs was that musicians have been writing songs about saving the planet for a long time. Here are some I love. Please share your own.
The Beatles - Mother Nature’s Son (1968)
Melissa Etheridge - I Need to Wake Up (2006)
This was a song Melissa wrote for the film, “An Inconvenient Truth”
An Inconvenient Truth refers to the book by Al Gore - An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It published in 2006. Gore released the book in conjunction with the film An Inconvenient Truth.
Joni Mitchell - Big Yellow Taxi (2007)
Will.I.am - S.O.S. Mother Earth (2007)
This is pretty powerful, especially since it was recorded in 2007
Miley Cyrus - Wake Up America (2008)
Neil Young - Mother Earth (2014)
This was consciously produced as a hymn. Tell me what you think.
Neil Young - Be the Rain (2020)
Produced six years after Mother Earth, it is equally powerful.
Dar Williams - Go to the Woods (2016)
Dar Williams - This Earth (2016)
For those who don’t know Dar’s work, she is an absolute delight. Be sure to check out her website to learn about her songwriting workshops. She’s pretty darn special https://www.darwilliams.com/
Jayda G - Orca’s Reprise (2019)
Because I felt the cetaceans deserved a voice here.
One Republic - An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power (2017)
I will leave you with one of my favorite poems of all time by Wendell Berry. When I was teaching a class on nature writing I wrote to him and asked his permission to share it with my students. He wrote back - a handwritten letter (which I kept and cherish) saying yes. So I share it with you in hopes it will give you courage, strength, and peace as well.
THE PEACE OF WILD THINGS
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free. - Wendell Berry
This week, I have no questions. I will look forward to your comments.
A Few Extras I Found After I Hit Publish
Don’t Go Near the Water - Beach Boys
Hands Off the Antarctic - Thom Yorke
Victor Gama: Song for Antarctica
Copyright 2021 by Jena Ball. All Rights Reserved.