Source – 1

A few weeks back in class, while talking to my students about the lakes of Bangalore, I had played in class the music video – ‘Lakes of Fire’ by Nirvana.

The lyrics from this song – “Where do bad folks go when they die? … They don’t go to heaven where the angels fly … They go down to the lake of fire and fry … Won’t see ’em again till the fourth of July” – had tickled my fancy and captured the imagination of my students.

So, as we neared the end of the course, I asked my students, as an optional take-home assignment,  to identify other songs which have connections to the material discussed in class. They had to:

a) Identify the lyrics of the song which talks about environmental/sustainability issues;

d) Identify the environmental issue that the song is linked to; and,

e) Explain the lyrics and explain how they are connected to course material.

It was an optional assignment – we were nearing the end of the term and students were loaded with other assignments – but the response to the assignment was overwhelming. More than 50 percent of my students completed the assignment –  they worked independently of each other and  identified songs – all unique – and beautifully explained how the lyrics of the song discuss material covered in class!

So, I decided to compile all the songs and prepare a Music Playlist – an Environmentalists’ Playlist!

A wide variety of musical genres find representation … from pop to heavy metal! A wide range of issues were found to have been discussed in the songs – see table below.

I loved listening to the playlist …. hope you enjoy too!

Name of Student Name of Song Singer(s) The Issue Link to Song
Removed for confidentiality Rocky Mountain High John Denver Majesty of the Colorado Rocky mountains
We’re all in this Together David & Jenny Heitler-Klevans, and Kuf Knotz Working together to save the planet
Saltwater Gospel  Eli Young Band Philosophical! Personal connect to the environment
Greenhouse Effect Testament Air pollution
1 Sun Miley Cyrus Limited environmental resources
The Landscape is changing Depeche Mode Landscape change
New World Water  Mos Def Water crisis in Flint, MI
Don’t Go Near the Water The Beach Boys Pollution of water
Where We Going to Go David Todd Global climate change
Mercy Mercy Me  Marvin Gaye  How we are changing the planet
Outta Space Van Halen A Full Earth
Songs For a Dying Planet Joe Walsh  Green-house gas emissions
Where Do The Children Play  Cat Stevens Human Footprint
Big Yellow Taxi  Joni Mitchell Human impact on the planet
The Trees Rush Free-rider problem
Another Way To Die Disturbed Environmental Inequalities
Who’s Gonna Stand Up? Neil Young Personal Environmental Action
Heal The World Michael Jackson Making the world a better place
Til the Rivers All Run Dry Don Williams Water scarcity and pollution
Radioactive Imagine dragons Nuclear radiation
Dragonfly Ziggy Marely Mankind’s impact on the world
Funny the Way It Is Dave Matthews Band A sustainable and more connected world
Pittsburgh Town  Pete Seeger  Polluted Pittsburgh during the 1940’s and 1950’s
The Update The Beastie Boys Human impact on the planet



Sources of images:

1., accessed on the 9th of November, 2016