10 Songs That Relate To The Environment

Posted by Cori Hoberman
(@Cori Hoberman)

“Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.” – Evo Morales

Artists turn to nature for inspiration to help determine whether their next hit should glorify its beauty or help raise awareness around an issue they’re passionate about. Below are 10 songs that were influenced by the environment, and were written to inspire others to be apart of the movement for change. 

1)   “Wake Up America” by Miley Cyrus

No matter your race, gender, ethnicity, religion, etc., Miley Cyrus is calling out to all Americans to step in to help respond to the cries of nature. America may be a melting pot but when it comes to being an American everyone is placed under the same category, and to all Americans, America is home. “Wake Up America!” it’s time to protect your home!

2)   “The 3 R’s” by Jack Johnson

If you’ve ever heard anything about the environment, then you most likely know the phrase, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.” You may have heard it all before, but do you really know what each of those call to actions actually entail? Jack Johnson does more than just raise awareness around this issue, he also offers specific examples that we can incorporate into our daily lives. Whether it’s bringing your own bag when you go grocery shopping, or reducing the amount of waste we throw away, we should all do our part to help.

3)   “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell

During a trip to Hawaii, Joni Mitchell admits to being completely taken back by the island’s beauty, but had a hard time coping with the fact that hotels, stores, and parking lots were wiping out her so-called paradise. She is captivated by nature’s beauty and extremely disappointed with what mankind has done to it.

4)   “This Land is Your Land” by Woody Gunthrie

We may all live different day-to-day lives, but at the end of the day, this land is OUR land. Woody Guthrie uses his song to help remind us that we are all in this together. Therefore, it’s our duty to find ways to protect our land from any harm. Artists like Bruce Springsteen were inspired by Guthrie’s message and decided to create their own version of his of song.

5) “Colors of the Wind” by Judy Kuhn

What better way to appreciate nature’s beauty than by going back in time, to the days when Pocahontas was the Disney Princesses we hoped to one day be. Pocahontas knows that “every rock, and tree, and creature, has a life, has a spirit, has a name,” but those who are driven by greed, see the world in terms of profit. She wants others to see the world from her perspective in order to appreciate the beauty found in nature. But you can’t appreciate it if it no longer exists.

6)   “Mother Earth” by Neil Young

The Earth has so much to offer us, and yet the only thing we give it in return is harm and destruction. If we hold the power to change the world then we have the power to help it. We must learn to respect and appreciate the peace and prosperity brought by mother Earth, otherwise we have no choice but to sacrifice our children’s futures.

7)   “Make a Wave” by Demi Lovato ft. Joe Jonas

By simply throwing “a pebble in the water,” you have the ability to “set the sea in motion.” In other words, by doing a small act of kindness, you’re bound to set off a chain reaction. Both Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas try to encourage their fans to spread love because you never know where it could take you. Just remember, a little goes a long way!

8)   “Only Human” by Jason Mraz

What purpose does our existence serve other than just being human? Jason Mraz points out that nature was made to live freely, and yet we keep standing in it’s way. As humans, we live until it’s our time to go, while nature continues to live on forever. Nature is what gives us life and offers us love, and without it we wouldn’t be here. That’s a pretty powerful message if you ask me!

9)   “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson

Listen up, because the King of Pop has a few things to say about the environment! He explains, “I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the Planet Earth. And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of the Earth. And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think earth feels the pain, and she has wounds, and it’s about some of the joys of the planet as well. But this is my chance to pretty much let people hear the voice of the planet.” I guess you can call it a Thriller!

10)  “What A Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

If you’ve ever seen trees of blue and red roses too, then you know exactly what Louis Armstrong means when he sings, “What a wonderful world.” Armstrong wants us to take a deeper look into nature in order to truly appreciate what it has to offer. There is so much beauty in the world, and if we open our eyes we can bear witness to it. 

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