Let's face it, Songs About The Environment are never going to be easy to write. Even the most adept literary artists can never go beyond the bubble of corny, what more up and coming green guys like Jack Johnson, also a repeat offender of cringe-y green lyrics. Here's one from his song 'Gone' where the Hawaii native sings of the demise of, well everything, due to human consumption, more or less:
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"Gone be the birds when they don't want to sing/gone people all awkward with their things, gone."
Luckily for us, the National Environment Agency runs an annual Eco Music Challenge where contestants will submit an original song (environment themed) to a panel of esteemed judges - Timbre co-founder Danny Loong and renowned music composer Dick Lee are two of them. The winning song will get to make a music video and it will be widely publicised during Clean and Green Singapore campaign.
This year's winning song 'Mother Nature's Cry' is the labour of trio Charles Basa, Nur Ashriqin, and Sam Simpson. Now watch it:
Before you start laughing at the lyrics and the sort, remember what I said about how hard it is to write a song about the environment. These three are totally legit musicians doing their own stuff. Charles Basa is a fast talking rapper, also known as Enero, Nur Ashriqin is also a singer who posts her videos of covers and original stuff under the moniker Sheeq Luna on YouTube, Sam Simpson does the same, under his performing name Requiem.
So no judging here, and give their side projects a listen. Besides, there are already a whole bunch of cheesy, corny songs about the environment out there. Here are nine of them:
Jack Johnson | The 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
Jack Johnson has had an entire album dedicated to the sea, is from Hawaii, 100% of profits from his Australian tour leg was given to charity, and he writes lyrics like this: "Three, it's a magic number/Yes it is, it's a magic number/Because two times three is six/And three times six is 18/And the 18th letter in the alphabet is R."
Dave Matthews Band | One Sweet World
Dave Matthews Band, bros of Jack Johnson, singing their input on how special the earth is. And also the planets.
Michael Jackson | Earth Song
Look at title.
Cake | Carbon Monoxide
I wish I wasn't just a pedestrian /Breathing all this in/ I look up at that gray sky /It makes me want to.../ Ahhhhh! - the real lyrics, guys.
Black Sabbath | Children of The Sea
"We made the mountains shake with laughter as we played /Hiding in our corner of the world /Then we did the demon dance and rushed to nevermore /Threw away the key and locked the door" Loaded, mythic language? We expect nothing from these guys.
The Byrds | Hungry Planet
Probably the grooviest song out there about Gaia. Comes with loaded lines... as usual.
Jack Johnson (again!) | With My Own Two Hands (ft. Ben Harper)
Repeat offender Jack Johnson pays homage to Mother Earth again, this time with a little help from some earthy, earth-loving friends too.
Peter Gabriel | Here Comes The Flood
Peter Gabriel is the sentimental king of contemporary world music. Sometimes it even shows in the lyrics.
Miley Cyrus | Wake Up America
Before she smashed a wrecking ball through the music industry, this lady sang songs about the deterioration of America. Then she became part of it.