Liza Richardson’s Earth Day playlist: sounds for our cleaner air

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One of the first known environmental protest songs is from 1837, "Woodman, Spare That Tree!”, to which I’ve added an exclamation point for emphasis, and included in this Earth Day playlist. But don’t expect this list to be a pedantic history lesson, no way. This is absolutely for your listening pleasure; a celebration of birds, bees, land, ocean, trees, full of clever, cool jams and meditations on outdoor living, ecology — a bucolic utopia. But it also features emotional apocalyptic anthems about climate change, floods, fire, wrath, pollution and inner city decay. Obvious and obscure, heavy and humorous, spanning decades and genres, selected with love.  

This playlist is meant to provide passive listening for your pandemic-era earth-y day. Start from the beginning with the glorious Hugh Masekela song or perhaps select shuffle mode and tend to your garden, prepare your meal, walk around in nature, or sit inside at your computer all day — like me — thinking about all this sh*t we’re collectively going through. 

If air pollution makes the effects of coronavirus on a human worse, and we're experiencing less air pollution, let’s celebrate the current state of cleaner air through music! If these songs could just make an impact and actually change the way we behave, maybe we can hang on to this beautiful clean air a little longer. And the Earth. 

Happy Earth Day! xLiza