Few scientific disciplines lend themselves more to song than geology. The science is exciting, touches our lives daily, helps us understand the world around us, and is filled with wonderful words that lend themselves to rhyme and verse. Consider that one of the most famous bands in history sports a geologic name – The Rolling Stones. We have songs about continental drift, erosion, volcanoes, earthquakes, and dinosaurs, though some think that geology songs don’t fare well. Here’s the dialogue from Prairie Home Companion, and its infamous private eye, Guy Noir.
SS: Mr. Noir— I’m Louise. You know Brad Paisley—
GK: Yes, of course.
SS: Top star in Nashville for years — and then he suddenly comes out with an 8-CD boxed set called Rocks–
SS: And it’s all songs about geology. Tectonic plates. Volcanoes. Geysers. Shore erosion.
SS: Not really. A half-million copies of those CDs are in landfill in New Jersey. And now— we have to relaunch Brad as the exciting performer that he used to be before he got fascinated by soil.
GK: And what’s my job?
SS: Keep him indoors.
And, later in the broadcast.
BP: This is a volcanic hot spot in Hawaii. It’s for a TV special I’m writing a soundtrack for. I just can’t explain how the sight of red hot lava bubbling up from the ground — I just find it moving— the earth reforming itself…..continents shifting……earthquakes……I want to learn more and more about geology— have you ever read John McPhee’s book, Rising From The Plains?
GK: Yes, I’ve been reading it for ten years every night just before I fall asleep.
BP: I just find the science of geology so exciting….so fulfilling— I don’t want to sing about love anymore. I want to sing about the earth.
TR (GORE): Brad, I’m Al Gore, and I want to congratulate you on your interest in geology and earth sciences. I admire your ambition to use country music as an educational tool and I myself have written a number of songs on this subject—
SS: Mr. Vice-President, I’m sorry, but we have a show to rehearse—
TR (SINGS): Let other people hang out in bars.
I lie on the rocks and look up at the stars. (BRIDGE)
Oh, well not everyone sees the light but many do, so here’s a short list of web sites that focus on geology-themed songs. After all why do you think they call it Rock and Roll?
1. Focus on education – http://www.songsforteaching.com/geologyearthscience.htm
2. A long list of songs that touch on geology – http://academic.udayton.edu/heidimcgrew/geo_songs_list.htm
3. A short fill-in-the-blank list of geologic songs – http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/hit-songs-with-geology-terms-279334.html
4. Teaching geology through a couple of songs – http://www.dinojim.com/Geology/GeoEducation/GeologyThroughRadio.html
5. The Exploratorium and Earthquake Songs – http://www.exploratorium.edu/faultline/activezone/media.html
Any other suggestions?