Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day, Mother Nature, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor's Gaia

I know everybody who's concerned about the planet will be talking about how to save it today because today is Earth Day, which you'll get immediately if you use Google as your search engine. The art work you see here is its Earth Day acknowledgment. And if you know any socially-conscious moms with little children, they're clamoring to get them off to see Disney's new movie, Earth, which opens in theaters today.

But I'm not in the mood to speak seriously today about saving the planet, except to recall the conversation David Letterman had with Anderson Cooper about CNN's earth special, Planet in Peril, back in December. Letterman thinks it's too late to save Earth.

It's not that I don't want to save the planet or that I didn't believe Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth, but more like I'm burned out on the topic temporarily. But before you lecture me, look, I'm generally down with Earth, our home, and up with environmental issues. I used to work in PR for an environmental restoration program. Maybe that's why I'm burned out. Who knows.

So, for the lighter side, just a little over a month ago I posted on the old Chiffon Margarine commercial that featured Mother Nature after reading that some woman was concerned that her child's pre-school teacher uttered "Mother Nature" during a class. She saw it as the teacher indoctrinating children into paganism, which prompted me to write, Attack of the Wiccans and Mother Nature Phobia.

If you're old enough, you recall that Mother Nature, a middle-aged white woman in a flowing gown. However, today a Vitamin Water by Glaceau commercial features Mother Nature as a black woman in a power suit, running Water Inc. See video below of the first commercial, but the new one with the rabbits and Mother Nature demanding all the animals work overtime because pure water is losing ground to Vitamin Water is funnier.

And since I love mash-ups lately, I think I'll mash up Earth Day with National Poetry Month and fudge on the poem part by posting song lyrics (close enough). When I think of Earth Day, I also think of James Taylor's song, "Gaia," and then I chuckle because my old English professor said when he heard it, "Nice song, but I'm not a Gaia kind of guya."

Here are the lyrics, and over at the site where I found them someone had a note that this song is the "tree huggers' anthem."
Lyrics by James Taylor

The sky was light and the land all dark
The sun rose up over Central Park
I was walking home from work
The petal sky and the rosy dawn
The world turning on the burning sun
Sacred wet green one we live on
Run run run run said the automobile and we ran
Run for your life take to your heels
Foolish school of fish on wheels
Turn away from your animal kind
Try to leave your body just to live in your mind
Leave your cold cruel mother earth behind
As if you were your own creation
As if you were the chosen nation
And the world around you just a rude and
Dangerous invasion

Someone`s got to stop us now
Save us from us Gaia
No one`s gonna stop us now

We thought we ought to walk awhile
So we left that town in a single file
Up and up and up mile after mile after mile

We reached the tree line and I dropped my pack
Sat down on my haunches and I looked back down
Over the mountain
Helpless and speechless and breathless


Pray for the forest pray to the tree
Pray for the fish in the deep blue sea
Pray for yourself and for God`s sake
Say one for me
Poor wretched unbeliever

Someone`s got to stop us now
Save us from us Gaia
No one`s gonna stop us now
If you're unfamiliar with the song, you may listen to it at Yahoo Music. It's off JT's Hourglass CD, and it's pretty. BTW, James is no Jimmy-come-lately to the issue. If you listen to his "Traffic Jam" song below, one of his old songs that always amuses me, you'll hear he make a statement at the end about fossil fuels.

And I can't forget Joni Mitchell's "Big Yellow Taxi," that says "Don't it always see to go that you don't miss what you've got 'til it's gone. They pave Paradise, put up a parking lot." Yes, I'm showing my age.


msladydeborah said...

The first video featuring Mother Nature-it took me a minute to realize that the wolf was having a natural snack!LOL!

I love a well made commercial!

Vérité Parlant said...

Me too, Deborah. When I saw it on TV, I hit the DVR rewind button and my children and I watched it 3 times before we said, "Oh. OH!"

The new one that came out this week is clearer and funnier. Mother Nature's jumping on a rabbit's case for needing to take time off from work again because the wife's having a baby.