By Audrie Lamb
Audrie Lamb currently serves as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Kentucky Interfaith Power & Light.
We are officially one month away from the 5th annual Louisville Earth Walk, a community celebration featuring a non-competitive walk – with virtual participation options. If you are participating in person, the community-wide walk will happen on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021 at 9am at Hogan’s Fountain in Cherokee Park.
The Earth Walk is a time to come together as a community in support of a vision where every neighborhood has safe and clean water, air, and soil.
If you haven’t already, please register! And if you have registered, consider donating if you are able to or start an individual or team fundraiser to help support the environmental organizations the Earth Walk benefits.
There might be other ways you are getting ready for the big day. Are you thinking of bringing your family and friends? Are you joining the group at Cherokee or maybe taking a stroll in your own neighborhood park?
Whenever I take walks outside, I like to listen to music as I stroll through my neighborhood. In getting ready for the Earth Walk, I’ve put together a playlist for you – “Earth Day Every Day.”
Throughout history, music has been a source of inspiration for protests, for action, for justice. Songs help us envision the world we want to live in and process the one taking place. It helps us think about the type of people we are and want to be.
This playlist has a range of songs that cover all of the emotions tied to caring for our common home. A few songs take on climate change head on such as “The Effects of Climate Change on Densely Populated Areas” by People Under the Stairs. Some talk about collective action like Taylor Swift’s “Only the Young” and Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution.” Other songs appreciate of the natural world like “Through the Woods” by The Okee Dokee Brothers. There is a bit of country. A bit of R&B. A bit of pop. Whatever reason you are walking today, and whatever style of music you like, there is a probably a song for it.
Spotify Playlist: Every Day is Earth Day.
The playlist has 46 songs and spans 2 hours and 50 minutes. In honor of it being the fifth year, there five songs are my personal favorites on the playlist:
- The 1975 (NOACF) – The 1975
“And yes, we need a system change rather than individual change / But you cannot have one without the other / If you look through history / All the big changes in society have been started by people at the grassroots level / People like you and me”
The 1975’s album Notes on A Conditional Form begins with this self-titled song. The song takes form as a spoken word excerpt from 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg. Matt Healy, from the 1975, stated “I think it sounds like how a lot of us feel. There’s a lot of hope in it, but it’s quite a somber piece of music.”
- Climate Change – Cooley Savant
“You want a new solution / Spiritual evolution / You cry a river to me
The polar bears are blue and / They’re dying in the ocean / Like, ‘where the hell have you been?’”
This song is a freeform stream of consciousness from Cooley Savant on the current political atmosphere. The song not only covers climate change but also racial justice. The melodic lyrics come across as an open letter to others on expressing feelings of frustration and inaction. Listening to this song makes me feel like I am sneaking a peak at Cooley’s journal and agreeing with every word.
- Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) – Marvin Gaye
“Mercy, mercy me / Things ain’t what they used to be, no no / Where did all the blue skies go?/ Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east”
This song mourns the destruction of the earth from oil catastrophes, waste, and overpopulation. Gaye recorded this song in 1997; while we have come a long way in the environmental movement, there is still a long way to go.
- Oh, What A World 2.0 – Kasey Musgraves
“Oh, what a world, don’t wanna leave / All kinds of magic all around us; it’s hard to believe / Thank God it’s not too good to be true / Oh, what a world, and then there is you”
Kasey herself said about the song, “In the face of a pandemic that has brought cities to their knees, a song can feel small. A melody can seem insignificant. This is a global moment of acknowledgment and respect for the power of nature and for so many of us—extreme challenges and sadness. But in the midst of all the loss and uncertainty there are signs everywhere of human compassion and renewal.”
- Better People – Xavier Rudd
“And we all have opinions / Some of them get through / But there’s better people / With more good to do / Good to do”
No matter what way we all choose to celebrate, either in-person or virtually, it is comforting and inspiring to know that everyone will be joining together on the 23rd to help promote our vision of a better Commonwealth. As much despair and uncertainty there this year and last, there is always going to be people with much more good to do.
There is a lot more than these five songs to listen to. And I probably missed some songs you might have added in the overall playlist. No matter where you are walking or what music you might be listening to, thank you for being a part of the 2021 Louisville Earth Walk.