Updated: Mar 27, 2021
For the first time at a #UN World Urban Forum, culture was discussed as a pillar to achieving sustainable development. Music and culture have never been formalised as a tool to develop, sustain and support good #development, promote gender equality, eradicate #poverty and support #sustainability.
Indeed, music has always been a tool to capture the #Zeitgeist - our values, beliefs, fears and hopes. Thus, musicians have also been using their music as well as their #platforms to voice their concerns about climate change and human impact on the environment. Here are our eight earth song picks:
1. Lil Dicky - “Earth”
“C'mon everybody, I know we're not all the same. But we're living on the same Earth”
Together with numerous stars such as Ariana Grande or Justin Bieber, US comedy rapper Lil Dicky had a missin to draw #attention to the dangers that climate change has on our planet and its ecosystems. None of the stars were paid and the money goes to #NGOs that work with the Leonardo DiCaprio #Foundation. And as strange as this song may be, it does its job: people are talking about it and the young target group in particular is dealing with the issue of climate change, albeit through jokes that are sometimes below the belt.
2. Ellie Goulding and Steven Price - “In This Together”
I can hear the whole world singing together. I can hear the whole world sing, "It's now or never". 'Cause it's not too late if we change our ways. And connect the dots to our problems I can hear the whole world sing, "We're in this together"
This song is the #soundtrack for the Netflix documentary 'Our Planet'. Similarly to the film, every sequence in the song tells a story, as they wanted to bring to people’s #attention the state of the planet in a way that has never been done before. They hope that in being entertained, people will begin to realise the scale of what’s happening in our world, but also feel optimistic that things can change.
3. Will.i.am: “SOS (mother nature)”
This song describes how people are destroying Mother Nature and need to change their ways. Amongst others the song points out:
“Open up your eyes, you can see things rearranging. The world is dying and if they say it's gonna be alright, then people are lying. (...) And here they come choppering down, chopping down our rainforest fucking up our air for us, they don't really care for us”.
4. Jason Mraz - “Back To The Earth”
“Whenever my head starts to hurt, before it goes from bad to feeling worse, I turn off my phone, I get down low and put my hands in the dirt”
This song really makes one feel like one is on a farm or on a #peaceful meadow. We love how the song seems like this song is so simple and easy going, as if it's asking us to take a break from life and #worship the small things. Jason Mraz is using his large platform for beauty, sanity and love. He is a social activist whose #philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging issues, including the environment, human rights and #LGBT equality. For example, in 2012, Mraz spent a week in Antarctica with a group of environmentalists, scientists and researchers on a mission led by Al Gore, to learn about the effects of climate change.
5. Captain Sea Level Rise – “When the North Pole Melts”
“When the North Pole Starts to Melt? What is gonna happen to his little elves? Will they be too busy swimming to make the toys? And what will Santa do? If the North Pole melts too fast Is this Christmas gonna be his last? What will parents have to tell their girls and bays?”
Captain Sea Level sang songs about sea level rise at various forums in coastal states during the 1980s. The Captain and his friends at the #Environmental Protection Agency Chorus originally performed this environmental song at the Climate Institute's First International Conference in Washington, D.C. just before Christmas 1988.
6. U2 - “Indian Summer Sky”
“Two rivers run too deep, the seasons change and so do I”
The song reflects a longing for #spiritual renewal and a desire to return to a more organic world.
7. Michael Jackson – “Earth Song”
“What have we done to the world? Look what we've done? What about all the peace that you pledge your only son?”
Certainly, one of the most famous songs and also one of the most socially conscious songs. Beautifully underlined with a video that shows an evocation of the scars of the earth, with an uncanny beauty. This sweeping track about the environment and welfare was a No.1 hit in the UK and went on to receive a #Grammy nomination.
8. Louis Armstrong - “What A Wonderful World”
“I see trees of green, red roses too. I see them bloom for me and you, and I think to myself: What a wonderful world.”
This song is certainly one of the most #uplifting, life-affirming songs of all time (and our playlist). It tells of the beauty of the world and the moments of happiness in everyday life. The intention of the song was to form a counter-movement to the increasingly worsening political climate in the USA. Therefore, Armstrong sings about nature, sun, colors, friendships and children's eyes. Notwithstanding, all the small and big problems in life, where hatred, grudges, power struggles and disasters dominate, the #purity of nature sometimes make the world seem anything but "wonderful". It’s good to end on a note of positivity and a great reminder how grateful we can be to call this planet home.
Let us support artists, who raise awareness for environmental issues and listen to music that inspires us and #stimulates us to reflect about our actions. We created this playlist on Spotify with all the songs mentioned here and many more. #Enjoy.
Your Greenwave Team
Click here for a more comprehensive list of songs about climate change.
RollinStones Article about pro-environmental songs. https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/earth-day-songs-151780/