"Mercy Mercy Me" - A Music 101 To Get You Ready For Earth Day

Mercy Mercy Me (Musicians & Ecology)

Musicians & Ecology – In Time For Earth Day
Earth Day
The artwork for the Marvin Gaye single “Mercy, Mercy Me” with “Sad Tomorrows”, from 1971.

This week on Music 101, we explored the history of ecology in popular music. With Earth Day coming up on April 22, the words of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me” resonate.

A refresher for you – the first two verses alone foreshadow some serious ecological issues.

Whoa, ah, mercy mercy me
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east
Whoa mercy, mercy me,
Oh things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the oceans and upon our seas, fish full of mercury

This is one example of how musicians are passionate about shining a light on issues impacting the environment. From the Dust Bowl recordings of Woody Guthrie, to fears over the energy crisis, musicians have used their platform to take environmental stances for decades.

Find a playlist of the show below, featuring key players in the music and ecology movements.