Music & Climate Change

There are many ways to express concerns regarding climate change, whether it’s through a movie like Al Gore’s “The Inconvenient Truth”, through published books such as “Climate Wars” by Gwynne Dyer. This week, I want to talk about one of my favourite ways of expressing, through my favourite form of art – music.

Celebrities have the power to influence their fans, whatever message they contain in their songs will be spread to the fans. For example, many people may be inspired by expressive artists who really try hard to get their message through, a recent example would be Lady GaGa’s “Born This Way”, her way of expressing the message of “you are who you are, do not be ashamed of who you are because we are all beautiful.” Powerful messages within music can be delivered to a lot of people!

Now here’s an example of an artist talking about global issues, and most of us heard his music, from the summer hit “Nothin’ On You” to “Just the Way You Are”, Bruno Mars recently collaborated with rapper Big Lou on a song titled “We Are Fighters”, talking about global issues. With Bruno Mars singing on the chorus: “In this life, we are fighters / And the world they try to divide us / Time is running out / We don’t have forever / Unless we break down / This war, stand together…”

And of course, from one of the most powerful artists ever lived, Michael Jackson, who sung about our problems on Planet Earth through “Earth Song”. The powerful video definitely reached out to many people.

Last year, during the 2010 Grammy Awards, artists such as Jennifer Hudson, Carrie Underwood, Smokey Robinson, Celine Dion, and Usher performed this song as a tribute to the star, may he rest in peace. Events that usually gather a lot of attention from people, and using these events to spread these messages is the perfect way to educate people on issues such as climate change.

Even movies that reach out to a younger audience can spread these messages, for example the Disney/Pixar animated feature “WALL-E”, featuring the song “Down to Earth” by Peter Gabriel, a cute robot and an amazing story is all you need to spread the message of “If we keep up what we are doing the planet, we will eventually destroy our own planet”

Of course, who can forget the classic hit of “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell? Later covered by The Counting Crows and Vanessa Carlton? The amazing line of “They paved paradise / and put up a parking lot / They took all the trees / And put ’em in a tree museum / And they charged the people / a dollar and a half to see ’em”

Artists have the power to influence people with just a song, if more artists from all different kinds of genre of music can make songs about climate change or ANY global issue for that matter for their fans, the messages will be spread. Eventually, this is a way of spreading the word, so that we won’t “wait on the world to change”

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9 Responses to Music & Climate Change

  1. avatar Pratheep says:

    Interesting blog. Music is definetly a great medium to get the message acorss!:)

  2. avatar Ron Broberg says:

    Vivaldi – Four Seasons – Storm

    Stravinsky’s Adoration of the Earth

    Gynt introduces us to exponential growth in
    The Hall of the Mountain King

    Finally, Apocalyptica reminds us that Nothing Else Matters

  3. avatar jessica says:

    cool blogpost !!!! thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. avatar Tony says:

    I believe this is very true. Celebrities, musicians, and many other famous individuals have incredible influence over people, at the very least their supporters….fans….so it would definitly help to reduce global warming if more of them attempted to express how serious climate change could get in the near future.

  5. avatar Andre says:

    The French guitarist Patrick Rondat made an entire album entitled “Rape of the Earth”; here is the title song (it’s instrumental).

    And since it has been mentioned, here is his tribute to Vivaldi:

  6. avatar Kaitlin says:

    This is a really great post. Big Yellow Taxi is a song I really love, because the lyrics really leave an impression on you.

    There’s also this “Save Energy, Save Earth”, sung by a Korean group called Super Junior. While it’s not exactly the same calibre as the songs you listed above, it’s more of a short but catchy PSA for how people need to change their lifestyles and be more concious of the planet.

    Here is a translation:
    “Save Energy, Save Energy
    Save Energy, Save Earth

    Try and follow me, save e-ner-gy
    Don’t act like you don’t know anymore
    It’s hurtful Save Earth, Save Earth
    Start with the little things

    (One!) Don’t leave your unused computer on
    Energy is leaking

    (Two!)Use public transportation when going out
    Think about our Earth

    Try and follow me, save e-ner-gy
    Don’t act like you don’t know anymore
    It’s hurtful Save Earth, Save Earth

    Save energy starting now”
    (from this site here .)

  7. avatar Adelina says:

    A very interesting blog post! Michael Jackson really had a big influence of peace and love on the global scale.

  8. avatar Steve says:

    Here’s my favourite:
    Season’s End, by Marillion:

    Getting close to seasons end
    I heard somebody say
    That it might never snow again
    In England
    Snow flakes in a new-born fist
    Sledging on a hill
    Are these things we’ll never see
    In England

    We’ll tell our children’s children why
    We grew so tall and reached so high
    We left our footprints in the earth
    And punched a hole right through the sky

    We’ll tell them how we changed the world
    And how we tamed the sea
    And seasons they will never know
    In England

    So watch the old world melt away
    A loss regrets could never mend
    You never miss it till it’s gone
    So say goodbye, say goodbye

    We’ll tell our children’s children why
    We grew so tall and reached so high
    You never miss it till it’s gone
    So say goodbye, say goodbye
    To seasons end

  9. avatar Ron Broberg says:

    Andre – thanks for the Rondat link.

    Way back in the day, Vangelis linked science and music through electronica.
    I often think of ‘Albedo 0.39’ while coding.

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