Songs to Save the Salish Sea

Produced by Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education

featuring Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz

 

Songs:

1. Salish Sea Song (4:32) **
2. What Would Granny Say? (4:28) *
3. Economology (2:46) **
4. Waters of the World (2:43) *
5. Goodbye, Oil! (3:26) *
6. The Food Chain Song (3:21) *
7. The Delta 5 (6:44) *
8. Acidification (1:32) **
9. The Thin Green Line (2:00)
10. This Sea is Your Sea (3:49) +

* by Sharon Abreu
** by Michael Hurwicz
+ This Sea is Your Sea – words by Michael Hurwicz, music by Woody Guthrie

Sharon Abreu: Vocals, Guitar, Fiddle, Bass, Keyboard, Percussion
Michael Hurwicz: Vocals, Guitar, Bass
David Densmore: Percussion on Economology

Photo Credits: Fred Felleman & Sharon Abreu

Special thanks to Janet Alderton

contact:
salishseacd@gmail.com
irthlingz.org

Salish Sea Song

copyright © 2017 by Michael Hurwicz

Oh the Salish Sea is a beautiful sea (3x)
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be.

The eagle and the seagull flying free
The eagle and the seagull just flying free
The eagle and the seagull, and you and me
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be.

The humpback whale and the little sand flea (2x)
The whale and the flea, and you and me
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be.

When the sun comes up on the Salish Sea
And the rainbow shines like love and peace
Like love and peace, and you and me
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be

Like peace and love and harmony (3x)
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be

When the moon comes out on the Salish Sea
Reflecting light like glory be
Like glory be and you and me
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be

We can sail this Salish Sea
And we can save this Salish Sea
And we can savor this Salish Sea
I really do believe that that’s the way that it’s supposed to be

Above: Granny, also known as J2. Lime Kiln State Park, San Juan Island, Washington, USA. Photo by Leigh Calvez

Below: Photo copyright © by Fred Felleman

What Would Granny Say?

copyright © 2016 by Sharon Abreu

What would Granny say to her children? What would she need them to know?
She’d say look both ways before you go, and don’t forget I love you so.
What would Granny say to her children, and her great-grandchildren, too?
More than a century living in the sea, she’s learned a thing or two.

What would Granny say, travelling troubled waters?
What would Granny say, to all our sons and daughters?
What would Granny say to her children? Oh, the stories she could tell –
Of seas that filled with salmon, before tankers roared and huge nets fell.

She’d describe the changing shoreline, how cold the water used to be,
Of the blob along the coastline, and of blubber filled with PCBs.

The matriarch of J-pod, beloved Orca tribe –
How did she survive so long, to birth and guide and thrive?

What would Granny say? What would Granny say?
She’d tell them of the borders only human beings can see.
How she fought when she was captured, and how lucky they are to be free.

She’d tell them all the things she’d seen, back when the waters were pristine.
She’d tell them “Always be aware, and above all else, be kind and share.

What would Granny say, travelling troubled waters?
What would Granny say, navigating crowded corridors?

She’d tell them of her journeys, a hundred miles a day –
Some days you’ll have too much to eat; Some days there won’t be any meat.
She’d tell them how the notch got in the trailing edge of her dorsal fin,
How before the ship Titanic sailed, she was slapping waves with her mighty tail.

The guiding light of her family, California to the Salish Sea.
She would guide us if we let her. But will—we—let– her?—

What would Granny say to you and me, if she had the opportunity?
She’d say, “Please save the Salish Sea –
For the fish, the birds, the seals, the whales, and for all– humanity!”

What would Granny say? What would Granny say?

Economology

copyright © 2014 by Michael Hurwicz

There’s a lesson that is dawning on humanity,
A species that has suffered from insanity.
It’s a very simple lesson of prosperity:
The economy depend on the ecology.

Many years back in old Iraq, agriculture was invented.
Population increase, cut down all the trees – now that place a desert.

The economy depend on the ecology,
The economy depend on the ecology,
From land and sea come prosperity –
The economy depend on the ecology.

See, you and me are the economy,
and we depend on the ecology.
If the world isn’t healthy, neither will we be,
Economy depend on the ecology.

There was a place called Love Canal,
People had work a-plenty.
But the factory man put poison in the land,
And now that town is empty.

The factory depend on the ecology,
The factory depend on the ecology.
Don’t poison the land Mr. factory man,
The economy depend on the ecology.

I don’t think war will solve a problem.
It only bring devastation.
Let’s stay home and take care of our own land,
And we will have a stronger nation.

Democracy depend on the ecology,
Freedom the depend on the ecology,
Your side, my side, everybody,
Everything depend on the ecology.

Factory depend on the ecology,
University depend on the ecology,
Baseball, football, democracy,
Everything depend on the ecology.

You and me depend on ecology,
She and he depend on ecology,
All of  we depend on the ecology,
It’s a lesson that is dawning on humanity.

Waters of the World

copyright © 2002 by Sharon Abreu

All the waters of the world are connected,
Though on the surface it’s not easy to see.
They change the climate all over the world,
Just like we do, degree by degree.
Oh, the waters of the world are connected,
They flow through hearts as they flow through the land,
We’re drawn to water, our lifelong friend,
Its power and mystery we’re still learning to understand.
Oh, the waters of the world,
Far more precious than oil.
They carry what we give to them,
From near to foreign soil.
Oh, the waters of the world,
Salty swells fill ev’ry sea,
And a tiny sip of fresh water must quench all humanity.
All the waters of the world are connected,
And we’re just now beginning to see
Our currents rise below their tides,
And how they’ll flow is up to you and me.
Yes, how they’ll flow is up to you and me.

Above: An oiled bird from oil spill in San Francisco Bay. About 58,000 gallons of oil spilled from a South Korea-bound container ship when it struck a tower supporting the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in dense fog on 11/07/07.

By Brocken Inaglory GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Below: U.S. Navy Mechanized Landing Craft (LCMs) are anchored along the shoreline as Navy and civilian personnel position hoses during oil clean-up efforts on Smith island. The massive oil spill occurred when the commercial tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground while transiting the waters of Prince William Sound on March 24th, 1989.

Goodbye, Oil!

copyright © 2002 by Sharon Abreu

Government and oil were the best of friends,
All through their old school days.
Both members of the old boys club,
Refining the American way.
After the elections, the vows were taken,
And all of those who paid and toiled
Had to be paid back for their hard work,
And the debt was to be paid in oil.

[Spoken: Oil?! Don’t say OIL! Not oil!]With combustion engines, and housing heat,
And lights in every building and street,
Planes to fly, cars and trucks to drive,
And faster paces than you could meet.

Well, a hundred years of burning oil
Wreaked havoc with the air, land and sea.
The droughts and floods, and changing climates
Made it so we finally had to see
That OIL HAD TO GO!

Ta— ta, ta, ta, ta—
Goodbye, oil!
Those SUVs?
They never looked good to me, oil.
You feelin’ hot?
It’s happenin’ like it or not, oil.
You’re in the dark?
Turn on the light in your heart, oil.

The enviro’s came in and brought a warning
But people didn’t want to hear.
They kept on buyin’ those SUVs,
The truth gave ‘em too much fear.

Some said coal could save our soul,
But it was just more CO2.
And we couldn’t deny that people were dying
From the mining and its poisons, too.
COAL AND OIL HAD TO GO!

Ta— ta, ta, ta, ta—
Goodbye, oil!
Ta— ta, ta, ta, ta—
Goodbye, oil!

So, we bought solar panels, yeah, photovoltaics,
Put ‘em in our windows and rooves,
We buy hybrid electric cars,
Windmills and biofuel,
And do the conservation groove!
‘Cause OIL HAD TO GO!

Ta— ta, ta, ta, ta—
Goodbye, oil!
Time to AWAKE! –
Do you know what’s at stake, oil?
What a surprise –
Watch the sea level rise, oil.
Leave you in the ground,
There’s cleaner power to be found, oil.
Your price is too high!
We’ll get our fuel from the sky, oil.
GOODBYE, OIL!

The Food Chain Song

copyright © 1999 by Sharon Abreu

[sung by a plankton]
They say I’m only FISH FOOD! HA! Can you believe that?!
But if they only knew I’d end up inside of you!
Oooooo….
It’s a hard knock life when you’re a plankton.
You’re not gonna live very long.
‘Cause pretty soon you’re gonna get eaten
To make the little fishies big and strong.
Oh, it’s a hard knock life when you’re a plankton.
You’re not gonna live very long.
‘Cause pretty soon you’re gonna get eaten
To make the little fishies big and strong.
CHORUS:
‘Cause it’s The Food Chain! The Foo-oo-oo-ood Chain. YEAH!
It’s The Food Chain! The Foo-oo-oo-ood Chain.
Natural as the sun and the rain,
I wanna be at the top, top, top of The Foo-oo-oo-ood Chain!
Well then, that little fishie’s gonna get eaten
By a bigger fishie twice his size.
The little fish, he doesn’t see it comin’,
But it’s really not a big surprise.
CHORUS
Well then, that bigger fish he’s gonna get eaten
By a fish that’s even bigger than he!
Then the fisherman comes with his nets and then
All those fishies are eaten by people.
CHORUS
I said, natural as the sun and the rain,
I’m on my way to the top, top, top of The Foo-oo-oo-ood Chain!
And I won’t stop till the top, top, top of The Foo-oo-oo-ood Chain!
YEAH!!

The Delta 5 Song

copyright © 2016 by Sharon Abreu

The Delta 5
Sat down on the tracks,
Said no to the trains –
Now we have their backs.

The Delta 5
Knew what they had to do.
It’s not just up to them –
It’s up to me and you, too.

CHORUS:
Oh-ho- the Delta 5
Brave and loving souls
Keeping hope alive,
Oh-ho- the Delta 5
Said no to the trains
And the crude oil they drive.

The Delta 5
Got hauled off to jail,
But they had a mission
And they did not fail.

And when it was time
For them to go to court,
They found that they had more
Than a little support!

CHORUS

Their tripod descended,
Four seated at the base,
And up at the top
Abby was in place.

They stayed for eight hours,
A cell phone in midair,
And on it Abby shared
Why they were there.

CHORUS

Trespass was the charge,
In the second degree,
And blocking a train –
They derailed the company.

The judge was fair,
Reconsidered their defense:
Necessity allowed –
A historic precedent!

CHORUS

The courtroom was full
Each and every day
Supporters there to hear
The defendants have their say.

The experts told of dangers –
Explosions and of deaths
Inflicted on the public
By corp’rate negligence.

CHORUS

The five-day trial made legal history –
As experts told of threats
To our community.

Then the judge denied
The necessity defense –
A disappointing blow
Handed down from the bench.

CHORUS

The judge said that he
Favored the defense,
But sadly he was bound
By legal precedents.

The judge felt bad
Delivering the punch,
So he gave them all
Ten extra minutes for lunch.

CHORUS

The five found guilty
Of trespass, though
Acquitted of the charge
Of not letting trains go.

And when the trial was over,
The judge agreed
The defendants are the kind of folks
Our country needs.

CHORUS

The trial a success,
The defendants stood tall.
Then they and the jurors
Hugged out in the hall.

Two of the jurors
Then joined the climate crew.
“Welcome to the movement!”
Said Mr. Minchew.

CHORUS

If you trespass to pull
A child from the flames,
The law says that you
Cannot be blamed.

The Delta 5
Said this is just the same –
With oil trains and climate change,
Our kids are in the flames.

CHORUS

The necessity defense
Was not to be
But the potential allowed
For public testimony.

The Delta 5
Taught the world a great deal.
Probation and small fines –
Now onto appeal!

CHORUS

The Delta 5
Are just like you and me –
They’re hard working people
With a family.

The Delta 5
Put themselves on the line
‘Cause the climate is in crisis
And we’re running out of time.

CHORUS

copyright © 2016 by Sharon Abreu

Acidification

copyright © 2016 by Michael Hurwicz

Acidification of
The ocean is a problem ’cause
Calcification of
Shells and corals can get messed up
Yeah, yeah, yeah, Yeah
Shells and corals can get messed up

Let me tell you ’bout a little clam
Just want to grow to be a man clam
But the ocean chemistry –
Just too much acidity
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Just too much acidity

Oh the tale sad to tell
Just trying to grow a little shell now …

Let me tell you what we can do:
Transition off of fossil fuel
Stop acidification
Use the tide, wind and sun
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Use the tide, wind and sun
Clean way of living, man
Use the tide, wind and sun
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Use them all efficiently, man

Above: Estimated change in sea water pH caused by human created CO2 between the 1700s and the 1990s, from the Global Ocean Data Analysis Project (GLODAP) and the World Ocean Atlas Note: Lower pH (more red) equals more acidic.

The Thin Green Line

copyright © 2015 by Sharon Abreu

We are the Thin Green Line of the Pacific Northwest,
Our communities are bein’ put to the test.
We’re the line between the Salish Sea
And the greedy fossil fuel industry.

We’re the line along the Puget Sound,
Keepin’ coal, gas and oil in the ground.
From B.C. to the Oregon coast,
We will not be their slimy host.

CHORUS
We are the Thin Green Line –
We see far beyond our lands.
We are the Thin Green Line –
And the future of the Earth is in our hands.

 

 

We are tribes and folks of ev’ry faith.
Come and join us now – it’s not too late!
We’re parents, teachers and kids who know
They need a healthy place to grow.

We stand together, brave and strong,
Showing up, sending comments, singing our song.
We know it’s up to us, some way, somehow,
To stop the burning and pollution now.

CHORUS
We are the Thin Green Line –
We see far beyond our lands.
We are the Thin Green Line –
And the future of the Earth is in our hands.

Above: From “The Thin Green Line” video at http://www.sightline.org/research/thin-green-line/

This Sea (Is Your Sea)

words copyright © 2016 by Michael Hurwicz
melody by Woody Guthrie, 1940, based on Carter Family “When the World’s on Fire”

This sea is your sea
This sea is my sea
This sea is our sea
I hope that you see
From the rocky shoreline
To the rolling high sea
This sea was made for you and me.

Along the coastline I went kayaking
On clams and salmon, as I went snacking
And as I sailed past that waving eel grass
I knew this sea was made for you and me.

I’ve sailed and kayaked and ferry boated
While the mountains sparkled and the sea spray floated
The heron flying, and the seagull crying
This sea was made for you and me.

When the sun came shining, and the surf was rolling,
And the orcas playing, and the bull kelp growing
As the fog was drifting, the wind was whispering:
This sea was made for you and me.

Along the shoreline, with the sunlight flashing
I saw a sign that said “No Trespassing”
But I hope the sea will always be free
This sea was made for you and me.

Now they want to ship oil and coal to China
Across this sea of yours and mine
Do you think it will … mean a wreck and a big spill
An Exxon Valdez for you and me?


Album Notes

With Songs to Save the Salish Sea, Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz of Irthlingz Arts-Based Environmental Education (http://irthlingz.org) are on a mission to inspire stewardship of the great inland sea of the Pacific Northwest, the Salish Sea, stretching from south of Seattle to well north of Vancouver, British Columbia.

In 2012 the Salish Sea — valued for its beauty, recreational appeal and marine life, including salmon and Orca whales — suddenly came under major threat. Island and coastal communities found themselves battling a barrage of proposals by the fossil fuel industry to export large quantities of coal, highly toxic Alberta tar sands oil and explosive Bakken shale oil to Asia through the narrow, already heavily trafficked straits of the Salish Sea.

Along with many other local residents, Sharon and Michael have been fighting back. Their favored weapons: rich vocal harmonies; catchy, lyrical and soaring melodies; and humorous, quirky, poetic and poignant lyrics. They are part of a vibrant movement of people working to stop the proposed gas and oil pipelines, coal and oil trains and supertankers that threaten to severely damage local communities and ecosystems due to derailments, explosions, leaks, and spills. At the same time, they are promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and emerging transportation alternatives like electric cars, electric bicycles and Solutionary Rail (http://www.solutionaryrail.org).

Sharon Abreu and Michael Hurwicz are the Irthlingz Duo (http://irthlingz.com). They began combining their musical voices for environmental education in 1998. After moving from New York to Washington State, in 2002 they founded Irthlingz (http://irthlingz.org) to engage, inspire and empower people to become stewards of the Earth. Sharon and Michael have performed in concert with legendary folksinger Pete Seeger, at the United Nations and the World Summit on Sustainable Development in South Africa, and in events for Bill Nye the Science Guy and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai. In 2016, Sharon performed her one-woman show, The Climate Monologues (http://ClimateMonologues.com), in the Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival and the United Solo Theatre Festival in New York. She was interviewed on PBS’s SciTech Now. (http://www.scitechnow.org/videos/the-climate-monologues/#) Also in 2016, Michael published his uniquely recounted history of climate change science, The Meltese Dodo. (http://MelteseDodo.com)

A bit about the songs…

The Salish Sea: “The Salish (SAY-lish) Sea is the intricate network of coastal waterways that includes the southwestern portion of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the northwestern portion of the U.S. state of Washington. Its major bodies of water are the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound.… Major port cities on the Salish Sea include Vancouver, Seattle, Tacoma, Bellingham, Port Angeles and Victoria.” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salish_Sea)

What Would Granny Say? : Granny, who is believed to have passed away in the fall of 2016, was a legendary member of J pod, a southern resident killer whale population that travels between the waters of California, Washington State and British Columbia. The oldest known Orca whale (she is believed to have lived to the age of 105), Granny was beloved by people all along the Salish Sea. In 2015, she was elected the honorary mayor of Eastsound, Washington, an unincorporated town on Orcas Island. The election was in reality a fundraiser for the local Children’s House Preschool and Toddler Early Learning Center. (See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Granny_(orca) and https://orcasissues.com/granny-wins-childrens-house-mayoral-race)

The Delta 5 song tells the ongoing story of five activists in northwest Washington State who blocked an oil train for eight hours in 2014. Their trial took place in January 2016. They were found guilty of trespassing. As of this CD release in late April 2017, they are still awaiting a date for their appeal of the verdict. (http://delta5trial.org) See The Delta 5 song music video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0HGFCJ04XE.

Acidification: Coral reefs, shellfish, cold water fish, and the species that depend on them, from Orca whales to humans, are being impacted by the warming and acidification of the oceans. This little ditty tells about it. Hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in the shellfish industry alone.

The Thin Green Line: The Pacific Northwest, known for its focus on “green” practices and lifestyles, finds itself in the position of standing right in-between the fossil fuel industry’s last gasp for profits and the future of human life on Earth as it strives to address climate change in a real way and shift to an economy that thrives due to emerging technologies and jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Thus, these coastal communities of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia have become the “thin green line” standing firmly in the way of huge corporate profits that would be enjoyed by the few at the expense of many. (http://www.sightline.org/research/thin-green-line)