My favorite would be Joni Mitchell’s “Big Yellow Taxi”. It is a beautiful song with great lyrics (They paved paradise And put up a parking lot..)
A few others by famous artists would be:
“Death of Mother Nature Suite” by Kansas
“Don’t Go Near The Water” by The Beach Boys
“Earth Anthem” by The Turtles
This list is harder to come up with than I thought it would be. A favorite when I was seven or so is “Pass it on Down” by Alabama. “Monkey’s Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies is good too.
A few more include Gone by Jack Johnson, Mercy, Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye, Don’t go near the water by Johnny Cash, Nothing but Flowers by Talking Heads and Earth Song by Michael Jackson. Also see these related answers about rap and country songs that are about the environment.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by Jack Johnson, New World Water by Mos Def, The Trees by Rush, Dragonfly by Ziggy Marley and Plastic Beach by The Gorillaz.
Although it’s not a “real” popular song, the fictional band Infant Sorrow (lead singer played by Russell Brand) sings a song called “Do Something” in the movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall. It is hilarious, and has a good, environment-friendly message. 🙂
Watch the music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mI4XLhY10VA
As soon as I saw this, the Circle of Life (yes the Lion King song) came to mind. After double-checking the lyrics, I feel I can safely add it to the list. Another one that’s environmental message is a little more obvious is the discovery channel song (which I also really like):
I love this song!
Someone else mentioned “Circle of Life” from The Lion King, which made me think of “Colors of the Wind” from Pocahontas, definitely an anthem for environmental awareness. Others include “Don’t Go Near the Water” by Johnny Cash, “Nothing but Flowers” by Talking Heads, and “Traffic Jam” by James Taylor.
Raps about BP and Recycling. More to come.
“Waking Up in the City” by the Ditty Bops isn’t a completely environmentally focused song, but they have a great bit that goes:
“I will bring the FrisbeeI will bring the dogWe’ll frolic in the pesticided grass beneath the smog”
I find it incredibly amusing.
There is also “We Kill the World” by Bony M. It’s pretty ridiculous.
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