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Three Songs - Reflections on Mother Nature

ForestNature can bring a lot of beauty into our lives. It can set a sky aflame at sunset, paint beautiful colors on trees in Autumn, or magically transform a familiar landscape into a snow-white fluffy blanket. It is always changing and easily affects our moods. Who isn't a little darker on a rainy day and a lot more cheery on a warm sunny afternoon?

From the patriotic purple mountains and amber waves of grain in America the Beautiful to the serenity of a clear blue mountain lake in John Denver's Rocky Mountain High, Mother Nature has been a source of inspiration for a wide gamut of songs. Woodstock's legacy of a "half a million strong getting back to the garden"; Thoreau's Walden Pond and Ansel Adam's black and white photography all honor the power and healing of Nature.

To Native Americans, nature was the cyclical source of everything. These impassioned words below are attributed to Chief Seattle (spoken before the U.S. Congress in 1854) regarding the value of nature .

You must teach your children that the ground beneath their feet is the ashes of our grandfathers. So that they will respect the land, tell your children that the earth is rich with the lives of our kin. Teach your children that we have taught our children that the earth is our mother. Whatever befalls the earth befalls the sons of earth. If men spit upon the ground, they spit upon themselves.

This we know; the earth does not belong to man; man belongs to the earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. All things are connected.

The three songs below are iconic testaments to Mother Nature. All three are great tunes on their own, but listened to as a trilogy, their commonality yet uniqueness bring home an even more intense message...

Beatles (Paul McCartney) - Mother Nature's Son

Paul McCartneyWhat a song! What a simple yet universally understood sentiment of an innocent country bumpkin just enjoying nature! Only someone like Paul can sing about mountain streams, fields of grass, and swaying daisies without sounding too sappy!

Often considered of the the Beatles best songs, Paul wrote and recorded this gem by himself during the fractious days of the White Album, although John was attributed for a couple of small lyric additions. Inspired by Nat King Cole's Nature Boy, the enormous popularity of Mother Nature's Son is a testament to Paul McCartney's gift as a songwriter.

Please Note: The Video will kick you to YouTube to listen to the authorized version (a 2009 Stereo Remaster). Just open a second browser window to listen and read the lyrics at the same time.

LISTEN | LYRICS

Karrin Allyson Sings Tom Jobim's Double Rainbow

Tom JobimTom Jobim's tunes are—to me—the pinnacle of great artistry: weaving simple incredibly catchy melodies over beautifully-sequenced yet complex rich harmonies. Double Rainbow is no exception.

What’s even more extraordinary about this song are the wonderful evocative lyrics. Overflowing with poignant observations, the words describe those special moments when you just happen to notice something sweet around you that inexplicably overwhelms you with happiness - even if just for an instant!

It's almost as if there is a spiritual connection with nature inherent in all of us that—given the right circumstances—we tap into on occasion.

Listening to Karrin Allyson singing the English lyrics had such a profound effect on me that it prompted this 3-song posting! Her vocal has a mind-boggling closeness to Elis Regina's interpretation.
PLEASE NOTE: Portuguese lyrics start the song. English lyrics begin at 2:08...

The 3-D animated visual rendering, IMHO doesn't match visuals evoked by the lyrics but nevertheless was available on YouTube as a vehicle to share this distinctly unique vocal version of the tune. Close-ups of dew dripping from flowers and hummingbirds sipping nectar would have been my visual preferences!

LISTEN | LYRICS

Mother - Chicago

Chicago (Third Album)Written way back in the 70s, Mother (i.e., Mother Nature) still rings true today. With climate change and increasing pollution (especially as the Third World industrializes) now an international concern, nature has been under assault for far too long.

The blockbuster movie Avatar vividly captured the need for mankind to take a more holistic view of our planet's resources. A society can live in peace and harmony with nature if it truly understands and melds with the ecosystem.

As Earth's population increases and everyone ramps up their development and need for more space and more energy, this song's stark portrayal of the price of progress is a necessary reminder of the plight we face.

LISTEN | LYRICS


-- Oct 21st, 2011 --