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Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?

GUEST,Aoibhe 19 Dec 23 - 11:28 AM
Robert B. Waltz 19 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM
Tattie Bogle 19 Dec 23 - 07:36 PM
GUEST,Julia L 19 Dec 23 - 10:02 PM
GUEST,henryp 20 Dec 23 - 01:35 AM
Long Firm Freddie 20 Dec 23 - 01:02 PM
GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright 20 Dec 23 - 03:02 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Dec 23 - 03:53 PM
Felipa 20 Dec 23 - 04:32 PM
Robert B. Waltz 20 Dec 23 - 05:55 PM
Joe Offer 20 Dec 23 - 07:32 PM
Howard Kaplan 21 Dec 23 - 10:35 AM
gillymor 21 Dec 23 - 11:30 AM
GUEST,Aoibhe 29 Dec 23 - 07:46 PM
Sandra in Sydney 30 Dec 23 - 12:55 AM
GUEST,henryp 30 Dec 23 - 03:09 AM
Howard Kaplan 06 Jun 24 - 09:10 PM
NightWing 10 Jun 24 - 11:23 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,Aoibhe
Date: 19 Dec 23 - 11:28 AM

Hi there! I'm involved in a project linking contemporary songs about protecting the environment in the face of climate crisis to traditional songs with a similar theme. A good example would be Bonny Portmore about deforestation. I'm looking for as many trad songs as I can find - preferably words and music. Any clues? Thank you very much in advance!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 19 Dec 23 - 03:22 PM

This is surprisingly difficult. There are quite a few songs about the joys of nature, of which "Country Life" ("I like to rise when the sun she rises, Early in the morning...") is probably the best-known, but few that are really about environmental preservation.

There are a fair number about environmental damage, such as "Mighty Mississippi" (about the 1927 Mississippi flood) and "The Miramichi Fire" (Laws G24) and "The Johnstown Flood" (Laws G14), but not much about preventing it.

Of course, there is always "Woodman, Spare That Tree." :-)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 19 Dec 23 - 07:36 PM

Well how “trad” do you mean, or do you include folk in trad style?
If the latter, I would include “Time is a Tempest” by John Broomhall/John Thompson.
There’s a thread on Mudcat which includes all the lyrics, or look for it on one of Cloudstreet’s CDs.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 19 Dec 23 - 10:02 PM

I can think of several- Linden Lea, Bonny Portmore, Robert Burns- Song In August and Verses On The Destruction Of The Woods Near Drumlanrig, for starters


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 01:35 AM

John Clare was a poet and fiddler.

He wrote about the damage being done by the enclosures, but did not himself set his verses to music, although others have.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Long Firm Freddie
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 01:02 PM

Here's one that's Indie Pop but sounds quite folky:

Muscle in the Bud

LFF

Muscle In The Bud - The Dinner Ladies

The big bucks boys gonna bruise the fruit
They’re plunderin’ the planet black and blue
But if you’re gonna mess with nature - huh
Then Mother Nature’s gonna mess with you!

Muscle in the bud
A little power that’ll knock you dead
Muscle in the bud
Makes a flower of its own bloodshed

Lovers stumble from the pub
Reeling from the muscle in the bud!

There’s no love in this twisted heart
No punch, no pucker in my coffee cup
I dream of kisses that come from tenderness
Miss the wrestlin’ of when you rub me up!

Whoao!

Muscle in the bud
A little power that’ll knock you dead
Muscle in the bud
Makes a flower of its own bloodshed

Lovers stumble from the pub
Reeling from the muscle in the bud!

But there’s a pulse, there’s a presence
Beneath the flesh we cover covet so much
I lose my senses, lose possession
But there’s a spirit that’ll kick me into touch! (Eeyoo….)

Muscle in the bud
A little power that’ll knock you dead
Muscle in the bud
Makes a flower of its own bloodshed

Lovers stumble from the pub
Reeling from the muscle in the bud!

INSTR

Muscle in the bud
A little power that’ll knock you dead
Muscle in the bud
Makes a flower of its own bloodshed

Lovers stumble from the pub
Reeling from the muscle in the bud!

We’re all agreed, it’s sound advice
Don’t put that grape with that grain
But my lightweight chat don’t cut no ice
With a boy with a bicep for a brain

Muscle in the bud
A little power that’ll knock you dead


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,Rob Mad Jock Wright
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 03:02 PM

Does Cry of the World by Angie Wright qualify.
It was written about mans denial to causing the state of the planet had anything to do with them.
It is on the CD Captive Heart and available on Spotify.

20% of all performance fees and sales go towards supporting the Scottish Mental Health Charity SAMH.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 03:53 PM

I very much doubt you will find any traditional songs at all that touch on this subject. Most of the ballads were written in the big city in a period when conservation of any sort, other than keeping the wolf from the door, was far from the minds of any ballad writer. Human relationships by far dominate the subject matter, and whaling, hunting and fighting were other aspects that rarely took nature into account.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Felipa
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 04:32 PM

several old Scottish Gaelic poems, often sung, write of the grandeur of nature, even if they are about hunting. Often the authors are known, for instance Dun Bán Mac an tSaoir. There is a well known song in Irish Gaelic which starts up asking "what will we do henceforth, with the end of the woodlands," which laments both clearin of woodlands and demise of local aristocracy: Caoine Cill Chais The Lament for Kilcash


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Robert B. Waltz
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 05:55 PM

Steve Gardham wrote: "I very much doubt you will find any traditional songs at all that touch on this subject."

I agree. I've never encountered one -- not really. I've been watching for them! Everything people have cited here is non-traditional or is about either the glories or the terrors of nature.

There are songs about ecosystems -- Newfoundland has a high number of songs about seals and sealing, and some as well about cod. Some talk about how the ecosystem works. But their viewpoint is, almost without exception, in support of their right to seal or fish, even though first the cod fishery collapsed and the seal fishery was getting close.

For what it's worth, the best non-traditional song I can think of on this topic is Stan Rogers's "Make and Break Harbour." If you ignore the title "Make and Break," which is an engine, not a place (growl), every word of it just breathes the Newfoundland cod fishery. If you made it the name of an actual Newfoundland outport -- "Carbonear" or "Ferryland" are names that would fit the meter -- you could probably pass it off as a traditional fisherman's song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Dec 23 - 07:32 PM

Can't think of anything purely traditional. Would Flower Carol suit your needs? Now Is the Cool of the Day? Ash Grove? Girl Scout Songs? Lots of May Day songs might work.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 10:35 AM

In 1910, Alice Adele Todd completed a thesis entitled "Nature in the old English and Scottish Ballads" at Boston University. Most of the content is an index to ballads mentioning specific topics such as trees or flowers, but there is an introductory section that discusses how much or little reference to nature can be found.

The URL for a free download is https://open.bu.edu/handle/2144/8425.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: gillymor
Date: 21 Dec 23 - 11:30 AM

Maybe Robert Burn's Song Composed in August (aka Now Westlin Winds) will suit,
Performed here by Dick Gaughan

Now westlin winds and slaughtering guns
Bring autumn’s pleasant weather
The moorcock springs on whirring wings
Among the blooming heather
Now waving grain, wild o’er the plain
Delights the weary farmer
And the moon shines bright as I rove at night
To muse upon my charmer

The partridge loves the fruitful fells
The plover loves the mountain
The woodcock haunts the lonely dells
The soaring hern the fountain
Through lofty groves the cushat roves
The path of man to shun it
The hazel bush o’erhangs the thrush
The spreading thorn the linnet

Thus every kind their pleasure find
The savage and the tender
Some social join and leagues combine
Some solitary wander
Avaunt! Away! the cruel sway,
Tyrannic man’s dominion
The sportsman’s joy, the murdering cry
The fluttering, gory pinion

But Peggy dear the evening’s clear
Thick flies the skimming swallow
The sky is blue, the fields in view
All fading green and yellow
Come let us stray our gladsome way
And view the charms of nature
The rustling corn, the fruited thorn
And every happy creature

We’ll gently walk and sweetly talk
Till the silent moon shines clearly
I’ll grasp thy waist and, fondly pressed,
Swear how I love thee dearly
Not vernal showers to budding flowers
Not autumn to the farmer
So dear can be as thou to me
My fair, my lovely charmer

Also What About Me by Dino Valenti and Chet Powers
( Richie Havens performs it ) and Connie Dover's Who Will Comfort Me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,Aoibhe
Date: 29 Dec 23 - 07:46 PM

Thanks folks, that's already really helpful - keep them coming! ??????


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 12:55 AM

John Thompson singing 'Time is a Tempest'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 30 Dec 23 - 03:09 AM

The Ploughboy's Dream; from Vaughan Williams's Journey into Folk by Caroline Davison

Vaughan Williams didn’t note down the exact date in December [1903] when he heard ‘The Ploughboy’s Dream’ sung by Mr Garman, but it was probably sung a couple of days after Christmas when he collected further songs from another local resident near Leith Hill Place. ‘The Ploughboy’s Dream’ was sung by Mr Garman who, contrary to Vaughan Williams’s notes, lived at Ockley (not Forest Green), a couple of miles south of the composer’s family home.

In this song, the ploughboy says that he has ‘put [the dream] down in rhyme’ so that other boys can ‘read and sing’ it. Surrey-based researcher, Irene Shettle, points out that the words were written in the 18th century by the poet and artist, Reverend William Mason (1724 – 1797). They were included in a series of late-18th century ballad sheets printed under the title of ‘CHEAP REPOSITORY for Moral and Religious Tracts’ in an attempt to compete with scurrilous broadsides, and to improve the morals of the general population.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: Howard Kaplan
Date: 06 Jun 24 - 09:10 PM

At this link, the Aeon website has an article by Richard Smith titled "Folk music was never green". The article confirms the general impression in this thread, that there is not much traditional music about protecting the environment.

However, the article does reference one song from the early 17th century, "The Powte's Complaint", which laments the draining of the fens -- but not for ecological reasons. (A powte is a kind of fish, though it's not clear exactly what kind.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Trad songs about protecting nature?
From: NightWing
Date: 10 Jun 24 - 11:23 PM

Definitely not trad, but how about John Prine's Paradise

BB,
NightWing


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