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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Sound Activism

Air Date: Week of

Singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow.

A musical tribute to Earth Day.


CURWOOD: Musicians have that uncanny knack of letting us feel good about feeling bad…with those songs about love gone wrong…and today to honor the 39th Earth Day we turn to songs about how our relationship with the earth is going wrong…and how we might set it right, starting with a challenge from Sheryl Crow.

Marvin Gaye.

[MUSIC: Sheryl Crow “Gasoline” from Detours (A&M Records 2007)]

CURWOOD: Songs about the economic impact of environmental chaos date back to the first Earth Day in 1970 when a hit tune from Marvin Gaye linked the gutters of the ghetto to a globe going awry.

[MUSIC: Marvin Gaye “Mercy, Mercy Me” from What’s Goin On (Motown 1973)]

CURWOOD: Labor, civil rights and eco-activist, Pete Seeger .

[MUSIC: Pete Seeger/Paul Winter Consort “Garbage” from Pete (Living Music 1996)]

Pete Seeger (right) with Living on Earth host Steve Curwood.

CURWOOD: Garbage, written by Bill Steele shortly before that first Earth Day, and sung by Pete Seeger. Canadian songwriter and poet Joni Mitchell also wrote a hit back in 1970 and a hit once again for Counting Crows more than three decades later

[MUSIC: Counting Crows “Big Yellow Taxi” from Films About Ghosts (The Best Of Counting Crows) (Geffen 2004)]

CURWOOD: While many musicians are environmental activists, few have started their own environmental philanthropies - among them, Rainforest Foundation creator and former lead singer for the Police, Sting.

Seizing on solutions, Sting sings how one earth is enough, if only we are willing to love. Love, he declares, is the seventh wave, and a deeper wave than eco destruction:

The Counting Crows.

[MUSIC: Sting “One World (Not Three)/Love Of The Seventh Wave” from Bring On The Night (UMG Records 1987)]

CURWOOD: Our musical tribute to Earth Day and its diverse rhythms is reminder that in each of us our hearts beat in time with the turning of the days. We celebrate the Earth because we love our home and want to keep it livable for all of us and those who follow.

And for this week, that is Living on Earth.



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