Bright Green's top 11 environmental songs
In true rock fashion, this one goes to 11.
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6. After the Gold Rush, by Neil Young The original lyrics go: "Look at Mother Nature on the run in the 1970s." During the 80s, Neil Young updated it to "in the 20th century," and now he sings "in the 21st century." It's good that he keeps updating it, because this is the only line in the entire song that makes any sense.Skip to next paragraph
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5. Monkey Gone to Heaven, by The Pixies Rolling Stone's David Fricke called this song "a corrosive, compelling meditation on God and garbage." It begins: "There was a guy/an underwater guy who controlled the sea/got killed by ten million pounds of sludge/from New York and New Jersey." The song was released in 1989, a year after Congress enacted a ban on dumping sewage into the ocean.
4. Treat yo Mama, by The John Butler Trio Lest someone accuse me of being a classic rock snob, I need to have at least one song that came out in this decade."Treat yo Mama with respect," the song urges. "Mama" being Mother Nature. This Australian jam band tries to walk the walk, too: their 2007 tour was greened by Clif Bar's GreenNotes program, which seeks to cut CO2 emissions with a biodiesel tour bus, recycled paper, and offsets.
3. (Nothing but) Flowers, by Talking Heads Probably one of the first songs to anticipate peak oil, it describes a world whose factories, strip malls, and fast-food joints have been reclaimed by nature. "If this is paradise," the protagonist sings, "I wish I had a lawnmower."
2. My City Was Gone, by The Pretenders The catchy bass line to this song, which decries suburban sprawl and the hollowing out of the American downtown, serves as the intro to Rush Limbaugh's radio program. Songwriter Chrissie Hynde allows Limbaugh to use her song, provided that the conservative talk show host makes the royalty checks payable to PETA.
1. Godzilla, by Blue Öyster Cult I was going to put Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" in this slot, but I had a last-minute change of heart. After all, how can you go wrong with a song about a giant, radioactive lizard? "History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man." Words to live by.