Green Again

(Words and music by and © Talis Kimberley, 2010)

Length – 3:27

Where are the gulls and the crows, then?
Now there’s nothing to follow the plough
Where the earth’s as empty as dust
There’s no food for the scavengers now
This was once living soil where our crops grew
Rich with creatures too many to name
But we took and we took and we never gave back
Until only a dry dust remains.

Feed the land if you want it to feed you;
What was green can become green again
When the chemicals fail to deliver
You’ll be glad of alternatives, then;
Feed the soil if you want it to feed you;
And waste nothing that comes from the land
It’s the root and the stem and the leaf and the rind
Makes the dirt that you wash from your hands

Where are the gulls and the crows, then?
Turn the soil and it
Now there’s nothing to follow the plough
All falls down like so much dust
Where the earth is as empty as dust
Little living things too small to name, but it isn’t the same
There’s no food for the scavengers now
Pay for the herbicide, pay for the pesticide –
This was once living soil where our crops grew
…pay for the fertilizer…
Rich with creatures too many to name
Where are the gulls, now?
But we took and we took and we never gave back
Never gave back…
Until only the dry dust remains.
Where are the gulls, where are the crows, now?
Where are the gulls, where are the crows now?


A Little Bit About 'Green Again'...

This was also inspired by a TV programme – ‘A Farm for the Future’, which in one segment showed footage of ploughing some fifty or so years ago, with gulls and crows clamouring to pick the insects out of the freshly-turned soil. Contemporary footage showed the difference – fewer birds, much less for them to find. Soil erosion and nutrition loss are part of the environmental degradation of our habitat, and the fact that we in our rich country are able to buy food from all over the world may currently insulate us from the reality of landscapes no longer fit to farm, soil farmed to death, and the desertification spreading in many parts of the globe. That insulation can’t last forever. What’s been grown in the earth needs to go back to the earth, not be bagged and thrown to landfill to rot into slime and greenhouse gases.

The harmony part of this is one of my favourite recording experiences of this project; ‘Let me try a second vocal. I don’t know what’s going to come out’. Just sometimes, that works better than it ought to!


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