Monday 11 November 2019

My Protest Songs and Songs About the Environment

With the ongoing Climate Crisis and serious threat of extinction for so many species I have been writing and performing protests songs and songs that draw attention to the environment and to dangers to the wildlife of the world. I have four songs like this on my recent album Songs of the Now and Then, which is released in CD format and as a digital release on bandcamp, and was produced by Jayce Lewis. The CD is environmentally friendly because the tray and packaging is made from recycled eggbox. But now let’s take a look at the songs!
Where Does All The Plastic Go?
Where Does All The Plastic Go? Started life as a poem but I decided to make a song out of it because no one else in the world of music was singing about this problem that affects us all. There is a video made by Filipe Rafael and filmed in Portugal, and this video has had over 19,200 views on Facebook.

My song has been featured in The Portugal News and I was featured on the front page with a caption: “Singing Against Pollution P11.” It has also been featured in a book by Italian radio host and author Filippo Solibello.
In SPAM Stop Plastic A Mare, the author has given a 4-page chapter to it entitled Where Does All The Plastic Go? Filippo has been promoting his book and my song all over Italy and managed to get a copy to Pope Francis. He is also spreading the word about my idea for an Ocean Aid concert, like Band Aid and Live Aid but this time to raise awareness of the crisis at sea caused by plastic pollution , as well as overfishing and other threats to life in the oceans.
I am hoping that this concert will happen and will attract not only big sponsors but very big name bands and singers, who will be willing to take part. Money raised can be distributed to charities helping the oceans. Which ones is yet to be decided on but there are many. Streaming and free downloads of Where Does All The Plastic Go? are available at Reverb Nation.

The Nightingale
The Nightingale, is a song that not only talks about the threat of habitat destruction that is causing a serious decline in this iconic songbird , but talks about the problems caused by development schemes all over the UK and elsewhere. Land-grabs of green belt and forested areas are causing an incredible amount of destruction of the homes of a vast number of species of wildlife. It makes reference too, to the ongoing felling of trees in cities and towns. The song starts with the lyrics: “You’ll never hear a nightingale if their homes are no longer there, destroyed by a developer who doesn’t really care, despite their claims otherwise about biodiversity, ripped up hedges and bulldozed land’s the reality I see.” The Nightingale features vocals from well-known Welsh poet Mab Jones on the choruses. This song is very topical due to all the protests that continue in the UK, where people are trying their best to stop the destruction of the forests and countryside. As I write, there are ongoing demonstrations to Stop HS2, but many more protests are taking place to save the wild places of Britain.
Citizen of Earth
Citizen Of Earth is actually an old song of mine that has been brought up to date with a new recording. I have been aware of the problems the world faces for a long time but everything has got so much worse. This is why I am making protest songs my focus. Citizen of Earth makes reference to the cult TV series The Prisoner, which starred Patrick McGoohan as Number Six. It talks about social unrest and about how people are trapped in a system that is similar in many ways to the Roman Empire. “The Roman Empire was much like today, Patricians and Plebeians and social decay, until the fires burned it all away, the ghost of Nero’s still fiddling. Citizen of Earth has been played on Roque Duarte’s show on the radio in Portugal and has inspired two very different videos. One was made by Ludgero Corvo and the other is an animation by Simon C. Watch them both and see which one you like best!

Butterfly In My Beard

Butterfly In My Beard is the most lighthearted of these songs, though it still raises awareness about wildlife, in this case it is talking about butterflies. I rear these insects and the verses of my song refer to real-life incidents. I have had Monarch butterflies on my beard. The second verse goes: “They called me the Bugman on the news one time…. they called me the Bugman on the news, a Hissing Cockroach on my head got plenty of views…” These lyrics are about the time I was in the South Wales Echo in an article about how I kept exotic insects. 
When I perform the song live I get the audience to join in by “making butterflies” with their linked outstretched hands and by giving me a “yeah” at the right places. I am hoping to audition this song in front of the judges of Britain’s Got Talent.
Butterfly In My Beard at CamonesCinebar in Lisbon