Sustainability: the Lyrics!

 


Script and set aside, a musical needs music.  There’s a number of filks and chants on the menu among Sustainability’s growing repertoire of songs (25 at the time I’m writing), so here’s a sampling.  We open with some brief chants to set the stage and introduce the basic resources we can’t do without.  I include sound files here so that anyone who wants to learn them can sing along!



Setting the Stage


Friends and neighbours think with me

Of our communal destiny

We can choose what is to be

Listen and see
















AIR


All the air is sacred

Every breath we take

All the air is sacred

Every breath we take

Unite the people we are one

Unite the people we are one


















ENERGY


Spirits of fire come to us

We must honour the fire

Spirits of fire come to us

We have kindled a fire


We’ve set our world afire

Have to bank the flames back down

We can turn down the fire

We can master the fire


Energy wisdom come to us

We need green energy

Energy wisdom come to us

Give us clean energy


We all need energy

And to bank the flames back down

We need clean energy

Buy more green energy


Cut your emissions 10%

10% isn’t hard

Cut your emissions 10%

10% isn’t hard


Our footprint’s growing fast

But we can turn it around

Conserve our energy

And use it wisely


















WATER


The ocean is the beginning of the world

All life comes from the sea

















EARTH


We are children of the earth

And we come from different places

We are sculpted and formed

By the hands of time


We are children of the earth

Men and women of all races

We all have the same needs

And each play our part


We are children of the earth

And we owe everything to Her

If we take care of her

She’ll provide for us




















Community


Our love is a garden enclosed

A sacred fountain

A well of living water and

All green is our bed





















I may also hope to enlist these fine persons with two other relatively simple tasks. They will serve as time keepers and chorus a couple of very brief non lyrical vocal cues to help me keep the timeline of the event on track.  This might also be accomplished by an acoustic musician - we shall know closer to the event.  There may also be a brief dance bit, if it works out.  I also anticipate possibly recording the soundtrack together. ;o)~


Other Sustainability Songs


The other songs thus far considered for inclusion in the event are filks I’ve written on sustainability topics.


Very loosely to the tune of Don McLean’s American Pie, almost certainly my opening song:


A long long time ago

We were hunter gatherers

Living in our world sustainably

We had a tribe where we belonged

And hadn’t muddied right from wrong

Lived thus for 1300 centuries

And then we learned to plant and plow

The crops that fed us all 'till now

Civilization started

Where man and nature parted

Instead of tribes we built cities

Where strangers live in hierarchies

Invented debt and slavery,

Our follies and our prides


Understand it’s the journey of Man

That our best intentions rarely work exactly as planned

We’ve learned a lot since our journey began

But we must take better care of our land

Because our health is tied to the land


I’ve come here to tell you my friends

It’s time our breach with nature ends

We must turn back the other way

We can’t keep growing every year

And decimate our biosphere

To sacrifice tomorrow to today

We’re celebrating harm as health

Consumerism eats itself

Devaluing tomorrow

Will surely bring us sorrow

And so I’ve come to you to say

Be glad that there’s another way

We’ve one last chance to learn to stay

In harmony with life


And if we’re smart we can all play our part

Take a careful look around you and listen to your heart

Can’t fix the whole world but at least we can start

I've suggestions that I’d like to impart:


Stop buying things that we don’t need

Our greatest danger is our greed

Doesn’t make us happy anyway

Shop local whenever you can

It grows resources near at hand

Improving our community today

And please drive less and please don’t fly

They drain tomorrow’s prospects dry

Eat lower on the food chain

It guarantees a health gain

And think low-tech it costs far less

It’s reparable and helps address

The fundamentals of our mess

So please invest in life


We’ll have more time for the things that we love

And preserve our water and the land and sky up above

Let’s make a better world we’ll all be proud of

As a gift to everyone that we love


Understand it’s the journey of Man

That our best intentions rarely work exactly as planned

We’ve learned a lot since our journey began

Because our health is tied to our land

We must take our future in hand


Essentially to the tune of Chumbawumba’s Jacob’s Ladder and probably for the Economy themed show:


Working more and more hours

Growing debt and never free

Using our powers

For the good of the economy

We buy when we're told to

Shopping more and more

And the love of Money

is the love we'll all die for


In this life of madness

We waste more and more each day

Celebrating excess

And making our children pay

This is madness


And we're burning up tomorrow for today, for today

Sacrificing our tomorrow to today

And we're sentencing our children to the grave, to the grave

Sacrificing their tomorrows to today


Earth's whole bounty

Humanity's to share

We squander the future

As if we just don't care

We'll all consume it

Eating on and on

One giant party

Until the hope's all gone



It's a life of madness

To waste more and more each day

Celebrating excess

And making our children pay

This is madness


And we're burning up tomorrow for today, for today

Sacrificing our tomorrow to today

And we're sentencing our children to the grave, to the grave

Sacrificing their tomorrows to today

Sacrificing our tomorrow to today


Also in the Economy show is this simple reworking of Raffi’s Sharing Song :


It’s yours but we can have some

From you we’re going to take it

‘Cause if we take it from you

We’ll have yours too


If your citizens are looking beat

And your resources look sweet

We’ll walk up to you and smile

And take them from you


It’s yours but we can have some

From you we’re going to take it

‘Cause once we take it from you

We’ll have yours too


This to Van Morrison’s Moondance :


Well I’m worried about our tomorrow

And we’re struggling already today

We’re so busy compounding our sorrow

As we’re making things worse many ways


But although our problems are ample

I won’t be paralyzed by defeat

I’m determined to lead by example

Proving life with a future is sweet


And so as I live the change

I share the tale with my friends

And though they may think I’m strange

I’m just a means to an end


I invite you to save the world with me, my friend

We can create a better world you will see, my friend


When we see time as part of our wealth

With voluntary simplicity

We discover there’s joy and good health

In a strong friendly community


When we start to measure our value

In who we are rather than what we own

Each sustainable action will tell you

The seed of a better future is sown


Cause every time I glimpse tomorrow

I just tremble inside

But when I see my part of it

That just fills me with pride


I entreat you to save the world with me, my friend

We can create a better world you will see, my friend



Sort of to the tune of He’s Watching by Peter Cincotti, almost certainly in every show:


Within the troubled skies above we see the signs
As climate change heats up I fear we're out of time
Then as I bargain with despair
My children smile
And I know
They're watching

I love the Earth our Mother

For she nurtures all of life
And all we give her back is waste and greed and strife
She comes to kiss me in my dream
She tells me, We should know She's watching

Now we know
Our children need some world left once they're grown
We have responsibilities to own

And I've begun facing them alone

Every day I try to nurture things that grow
I've travelled very far from the life I used to know
Now as I cherish simple things

I feel her hope and I know
She's watching

So now we know
To make sustainable the status quo
And make our politicians make it so
Giving wasteful ways the old heave-ho

I ask all those who hear my voice to do their part
To lobby for the future, and to listen to your heart
And every day I'm in the world
I care for her, and She knows
I'm watching



This one’s to the tune of ‘oh holy night’, on the topic of Food:


A century ago

some half of us were farmers

and local farms produced most of our food

so few remain

their struggles should alarm us

since we're replaced them with dwindling crude (oil that is)

big farms ate small

and turned to monocultures

and now we dine on distant processed foods


vote with your fork

for food that we could walk to

eat local food

local food is local wealth

for local food improves your health


food represents a third of our emissions

and climate change threatens global crop yields

so I beseech you all to join my mission

to plant a future in our local fields

with CSAs and lots of urban gardening

bold policies and community support


vote with your fork

a feast we'll share forever

eat local food

local food is more secure

it's local food; local endures


we need the farm

and now the farmer needs us

to find the ways we can help them to thrive

lest we forget

the crucial hand that feeds us

without whose hard work we could not survive

they give us life, we should hail them as heroes

and so today

we'll give them ear and voice


vote with your fork

so we can plant a future

with local food

our food security

think local food for you and me


Invest in Life is to the tune of Recipe for Love by Harry Connick Jr. and I believe this is going to be my closing song:


I bring a bit of hope and what knowledge I can give

I’m living in the lowest impact way I know to live

I resist consumerism that tomorrow won’t forgive

and that’s the way that I invest in life


I care about my neighbourhood and build community

I never drive a car because my bike is good for me

I don’t own a television, the real world’s my source of glee

and that’s the way that I invest in life


I’m trying to make our future better

to improve my world is why I’m here

my life is just a long love letter

to the sacred breath of life I hold so dear


There’s at least a dozen self destructive habits we can break

and it doesn’t matter which urgent step is the first we make

Just try to give the world back a little bit more than you take

for that’s the way that we invest in life

and today’s the day to invest in life


On the subject of biodiversity and mass extinction, it seems I’ll be singing to ‘wouldn’t it be lovely’ from My Fair Lady:


No cool bugs left for boys to squish

Silent oceans devoid of fish

That’s not what I would wish

‘cause wouldn’t we be lonely?


No more birds flying overhead

No loved pets waiting to be fed

‘cause they would all be dead

and wouldn’t we be lonely?


Nothing fascinates me quite like biodiversity

As it goes extinct I feel it’s squeezing the life from me


No more scales feathers skins or furs

No squawks roars whinnies howls or purrs

I hope that life endures

‘cause wouldn’t we be lonely?

Surely we’d be lonely


When talking about the synergy of challenges we face, I’ll be taking a crack at ‘Word Up’ by Cameo:


Yo everybody around the world

Everybody’s got to hear this so tell all the boys and girls

Tell your family, coworkers, and the neighbours, too

That the system’s gonna crash and there’s nothing we can do


We’re beset by these problems both large and small

Happening all together and about to screw us all

Say goodbye to today, we’d best adapt quick

‘Cause I hate to tell you folks but here’s the word


Our time’s up

Our culture’s doomed

We cannot grow forever in the way that we assumed

Time’s up

In these crucial days

We’re wiping out our future in a hundred different ways


It’s an inconvenient truth if you watch the skies

That climate change is going to make some coastal cities die

There’ll be pandemic starvation due to global drought

With distributing impossible as fossil fuels run out

With the basest of our nature we’re ruled by greed

Overusing every single resource that we need

If we don’t change our ways, no biosphere for you

‘Cause I hate to tell you folks but here’s the word


Time’s up

We cannot afford

To keep racing for the precipice with every hand on board

Time’s up

You’ve just got to see

It’s time to build resilience into our community



This grew out of Alone Again by Henry Phillips.  There’s no youtube version of it or other online version I know of to share here.  It’s about Panglossian Disorder.


I guess there might be shortages but not as bad as you say

And our leaders have a plan so I'm not worried much anyway

We'll invent a really keen perpetual motion machine

Because the mother of invention is necessity


Or maybe it'll happen but by that time I'll be long dead

I can't think about it now so I'll do it tomorrow instead

I've already stockpiled food, so tough luck if you get screwed

I swear there's still a lot of crude 'cause I'm Panglossian



I'm Panglossian with a big neurotic grin

Everything looks great when you're a Panglossian

Overwhelming evidence just won't sink in



I'm ready for the rapture I can't wait to meet my saviour

And no pinko's gonna tell me I should alter my behaviour

They were scared of Y2K, and then it simply went away

I see no need to change today 'cause I'm Panglossian


It's going to fix itself if we deregulate the market

And I really love my car there's just no way that I could park it

This is wrong it just can't be, it just can't happen to me

The more we need the more there'll be 'cause I'm Panglossian



I'm Panglossian, an anti-pessimist you see

I don't think we have a responsibility

I don't think collapse is even possible



Mother nature loves us all and she would never let us suffer

Human nature's so resilient there's just no way to snuff her

I insist the future's bright no matter what facts come to light

Even though they may be right I'm a Panglossian


The message makes me angry so let's lynch the guy that said it

I can't bear to think about it, pardon me while I forget it

It's a big price fixing scam, we think best when in a jam

Scarlet I don't give a damn 'cause I'm Panglossian



I'm Panglossian with a big neurotic grin

Everything looks great when you're a Panglossian

Overwhelming evidence just won't sink in


I'm Panglossian an anti-pessimist you see

I don't think we have a responsibility

I don't think collapse is even possible




More still to come....