Writing for specific events is closely related to writing songs about the news, so I gladly accepted John Johnston’s suggestion that we write a song for Earth Hour.
Dan Brittain and I decided to put a couple of days into this project, and not to follow the usual Rise and Shine show format three hour deadline. That meant we could work steadily, and piece the song together with more care. Having time to revise and develop sections was great.
First, the song is deliberately based on the Earth Hour campaign’s call to action. The two verses are from the different perspectives of a poor rural subsistence fisherman in some low-lying place in the world, and in verse two, from a homeless urban beggar.
Second, we tried to make the chorus deliberately simple, almost a children’s sing-a-long, without being too toy town, or too Disney, and yet rejoice in what it is, a straightforward call to ecological action. I landed without preconception on the word GREEN. I wanted to combine an up-and-at-’em chorus with a meaningful lyric, and I think we succeeded.
And, what does it mean, to be green, to go green? To me the message is clear: we must face up to the need to reduce energy consumption now. We must make our politicians act responsibly, quickly enough to save us. We are rapidly exceeding the planet’s capacity to maintain a human population, let alone the other species we may bring down with us.
Lastly, is it really an anthem? I think a true anthem has an irresistible, hymnal chorus, which this doesn’t have, but it does have a lot of energy and a good tune, and I’m particularly pleased with the ending.