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You're Needed Now!

by Ecopella

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1.
Come together heed the call See the writing's on the wall The world needs action not just talking Get your boots on, let's start walking On the streets you're needed now There's strength in numbers You're needed now! Now, not tomorrow Today you're needed now There's strength in numbers You're needed now! "I put family first" you say "And the kids want me to play" But you can play another day It's time to rally come what may On the streets you're needed now There's strength in numbers You're needed now! There's time for celebrations For sport and nice vacations It's time to rally for the future Bring the family on this adventure On the streets you're needed now There's strength in numbers You're needed now! We are marching on the street You can hear our fearless beat Banners waving colours bright Come and join us in this fight On the streets you're needed now There's strength in numbers You're needed now! We're all glad we joined the throng Marched with others, sang the song ("Unity must never die, raise your banners high!") When your children ask you how to make The future safe for their kids' sake Tell them, You're needed now! There's strength in numbers You're needed now! You ask what we can do About corruption by the few Persevere through thick and thin Keep on marching, don't give in Keep on singing loud and long Stick together, we all belong Collective action makes us strong There's strength in numbers We're all needed now!
2.
Earth Day 02:31
Happy Earth Day! When the truth may finally dawn! Beautiful morning! Radiant light as the shadows of night have withdrawn! Storing the plentiful pouring sunshine Winning the wind with a spinning turbine Clean, bright and keen sighted We're warmed, our lives lighted Happy Earth Day!
3.
AGL 02:03
‘Energy in action’ means coal seam gas extraction An overseas transaction and domestic frowns A pile of double-speaking, a bit of back-room sneaking And lots of toxic leaking into poisoned towns AGL! ‘Though you say we shouldn’t oughter AGL! We are poisoning your water What we did in Gloucester was repugnant and preposterous Were told the moral cost to us was somewhat high The locals wanted to thump us 'cause we’d lost our moral compass They kicked up such a rumpus that we said good-bye AGL! We’re still drilling out in Camden What the hell! They can suck it up. Goddamn them! The government is backing us, the people are attacking us The country that we’re fracking isn’t our concern Farmed or residential, we don’t reckon that’s essential We only see potential for ourselves to earn AGL! Mining gas beside the school AGL! We’re in love with fossil fuel These citizens protesting they seem to be suggesting That we shouldn’t be investing in this crap at all We find that rather testing and things get interesting When the buggers start divesting and our profits fall AGL! ‘Though we poisoned, lied and cheated AGL! We were publicly defeated AGL! Increasingly it’s doable May as well make the switch into renewables!
4.
On grazing land that was priceless A company sought a gas licence A company sought a gas licence They’d have a jolly good spree They quickly came up with a marvellous plan To frack for gas all over the land And sell it to China and Japan When coal seam gas was new me boys And they called for more wells And more land and more leases And oh, the expansion it just never ceases And nobody mentioned all these increases When coal seam gas was new me boys Well at first it’s just exploration, a simple investigation A simple investigation, if only it were true For once the company passes the gate You’re likely to find you’ve left it too late With all their sweet-talking you’ve taken the bait When coal seam gas was new me boys Well the next to come in is the drilling No chance of anything spilling No chance of anything spilling, if only it were true There’s sodium hydroxide, ammonium persulfate Or muriatic acid or sodium borate Disodium octaborate tetrahydrate There’s toluene, napthalene, trimethylbenzene dodecylbenzenesulfonate isoprop'nolamine monoethanolamine, xylene and kerosene So drink your chemical brew me boys When drilling down past the water They seal it just like they oughter They seal it just like they oughter, if only it were true The water flows out from the basin cracking And mixes with chemicals used in the fracking And all of it’s done with government backing The profits will go to a few me boys And when the mining is over The land will go back to clover The land will go back to clover, if only it were true We can’t use the water, the poison’s still there The methane’s still leaking into the air And the company’s gone with never a care When coal seam gas is through me boys
5.
Tony Abbott, he’s gotta go He’s gotta go, he’s gotta go He’s gotta go, he’s gotta go He’s got a gonad hangin’ out At a diplomatic function I hope whoever put him there Is feeling some compunction And it’s throw the man out He shall not keep the crown The future of this country Starts with bringing Abbott down It’s partly that he lacks A basic social education He’s leering at his daughters And embarrassing the nation But mainly, he’ll kick us in the ditch His neoliberal policies betray us to the rich Tony Abbott, he’s gotta go He’s got a goatish look about him In the way he leans towards you Or is that just him listening as ASIO records you? It’s partly that he’s guided By Leviticus quotations And he’d rather bring the witch-hunts back Than end discrimination “Stop the boats.” It’s a ploy for votes “Axe the tax.” He’ll scratch some backs “In difficult circumstances difficult things happen” No Tony, it was torture But you’re shaking hands and clappin’ He’s got a ghost of Mussolini Standing just behind his shoulder He may not be as scary But he would if he were bolder It’s partly that in climate talks he makes an awful racket When he wouldn’t know a snowfall From the dandruff on his jacket
6.
How I’d love to find the world Where right-wing nutjobs live Oh take me there To that world that’s on the brink Of being overrun by pinkos Take me there Where the Left is all united And assembled into fighter units Hidden everywhere. Take me there How I’d love to find the world Where right-wing nutjobs live Oh take me there Where the way to fund your science Is to speak out in defiance Take me there And the industries that fund you Are too proud to use the undue Pressure they could bring to bear. Take me there How I’d love to find the world Where right-wing nutjobs live Oh take me there Where our freedom’s greatest perils Come from greenies, reds and ferals Take me there And the corporate agenda Is a fatherly and tender Wish to manage world affairs. Take me there How I’d love to find the world Where right-wing nutjobs live Oh take me there Where the red tape just gets tougher And developers all suffer Take me there Where the media all pander To the left-wing propaganda And it’s terribly unfair. Take me there How I’d love to find the world Where right-wing nutjobs live Oh take me there! Take me there! Take me there!
7.
You know that land up at Fosters Falls? It’s a natural water course Well, Councillor Chambers bought it cheap He said he wanted a bush retreat Which makes it hard to understand Why the council went and zoned the land As residential and raised his rates Still, he should know, he’s in real estate Yeah, he should know, he’s in real estate And now he’s sold it back to the crown They’re putting up a retirement town They asked the council to please appoint A local firm to build the joint So Councillor Chambers chose a man The dearest quote by a hundred grand He said he liked what the fella had done And he should know, it’s his brother’s son Yeh, he should know. It’s his brother’s son We’ve gotta fight Fight for the land We’ve got a right to make a stand It’s just a name changing hands It’s just a game for a wealthy man I guess you’ve heard, it’s in the press How Fosters Falls is a screamin’ mess That housing project was nearly built When it vanished under a wall of silt It takes no crystal ball to see what happens To a hill if you kill the trees Now where’s the reason? What’s the plan? Well Chambers knows he’s a wealthy man Yeah, he should know, he’s a wealthy man
8.
Let’s pretend it isn’t happening Let’s pretend it isn’t true Let’s pretend that we can go on Just the way we used to do Let’s pretend that cutting carbon Ten percent or maybe five Will be enough to shape a climate That our children can survive Let’s pretend that giving handouts To those polluters who are worst Will in some strange way save our future From forever being cursed Let’s pretend that there’s a method Of burning coal that’s clear and clean Let’s pretend that nuclear power Is safer than it’s ever been Let’s pretend that turning lights down And giving plastic bags away By itself is all that’s needed To usher in a brighter day Let’s pretend that growing output More and more and more each year Is our best hope for tomorrow Rather than our deepest fear Let’s pretend the Coalition isn’t really all that bad Let’s pretend, just for one moment That they’re not all barking mad Let’s pretend the sun goes ‘round the earth Let’s pretend the earth is flat That those scientists don’t know anything And that climate change is crap Let’s pretend it isn’t happening Let’s pretend it isn’t true Let’s pretend that we can go on Just the way we used to do
9.
Denial Tango 03:44
You say the planet’s warming but I’m convinced it’s not Last Tuesday it was rather cool, today it’s not so hot And if it’s getting hotter, I’m sure it’s not by much It’s prob’ly due to sunspots, volcanoes or some such Or maybe it’s the Chinese, they make more smoke than us I know there’s many more of them, so let them catch the bus One thing I am sure of, no need to make a fuss Fire up those smoky chimneys and sing Denial. I’m in denial Don’t talk to me of independent studies or scientific trial I’m in denial, deep in denial And as the waters rise around me I’ll just hold my breath and say it isn’t so I call myself a skeptic and I believe it’s so I’m skeptical of anything: I just don’t wanna know Don’t give me C S I R O or I P C C I want some wacky viscount with a classical degree He says, “It was much hotter X million years ago I know that killed the dinosaurs but they were rather slow It’s just a lot of scientists that think they’re in the know But I know I know better. Let’s sing!” Denial. I’m in denial When I see those econazis I raise my arm and shout Sieg Heil I’m in denial... Those fires are not raging. No floods deluge the land Those hurricanes and tornadoes are just flashes in the pan The animals are doing fine: no species dying out And half the bloody planet isn’t choking in drought The ice is not receding from either polar cap I’d go with Tony Abbott: it’s just a load of crap This ‘round-the-world disaster is an evil greenie trap ‘Cause everybody knows the world is flat Denial..... And as the waters rise around me I’ll just hold my breath and say (glug glug glug)
10.
Those clingy black shorts they wear The tanned and bony knees they bare The helmets, leather gloves and pumps The fanny packs upon their rumps Oh, we like, we like, we like, a man on a bike Even in a navy three-piece suit With a briefcase on the carrier to boot A silver clip encircling the shin To neatly tuck the pant leg in Oh I like, I like, I like, a man on a bike Oh she likes, she likes, she likes gentlemen on bikes [I’m sentimental ‘bout a bike] Something ‘bout a man on a bicycle That’s both naughty yet nice-icle The friendly “Hi!”s, the muscled thighs Oh we melt just like an icicle Around a man on a bicycle When it comes to the art of seduction By now you must have made the deduction That a fellow in a car doesn’t get very far with me Proving once again that less is more I say two wheels are much hotter than four And a 5 speed or a 10 speed Gives me all the speed I really need To drive me to ecstasy! [Oh it feels so good to ogle a pair of wheels And it’s so noble to refuse to fool with carbon fuel That’s why I like a man on a bike] What a thrilling non-polluting sight When we’re pedalling with all our might Crouched like panthers over handlebars Trying not to be run down by cars Oh they like, they like, they like, a man on a bike I just know they must be special guys I confess they make me fantasise Keep your movie stars for what they’re worth Give me a man who wants to save the earth Oh I like, I like, I like, a man on a bike Oh, I like, I really like, a man on a bike Yes, we like, we like, we like, a man on a bike
11.
Oh Murray Darlin’ You’re not so healthy anymore You know you’re harmin’ Lots of native flora It’s alarmin’ How you’ve wound back the water to a trickle Whereas once you used to pour Oh Murray Darlin’ Irrigation’s irritatin’ me The sole would hearten Just to see you flowin’ free And not to Harden Just like an artery And once again to see you see the sea Delta, oh Delta, you used to be so Goodrem-ember? Before the embers of your heart were snuffed out By some sham Poo, a floater on your river Then he went off to Paris leaving you high and dry You didn’t think the Scud could aim so low You should have changed your name to Sandy When your humour ceased to flow O Murray Darlin’ It’s as if someone pulled the plug out of the basin And they’ve siphoned off the lot without replacin’ And now the planet’s gettin’ hot But all you’ve got is not enough to wash my face in Now, I know what you’re thinking, the Murray doesn’t have a ‘delta’ as such. Rather the place where the Murray meets the sea is a ... ? Yes that’s it! A contiguous twin estuarine lake system, but that doesn’t scan well so Clark had to use his poetic licence O Murray Darlin’ Your love is miles from where you are I know you’re pinin’ ‘cause you can see him from afar But I know one day you’ll reach him and savour Your Younghusband’s long Peninsula (look it up) And Adelaide poor girl is thirsting Strains Murrumbidgee mud through clenched teeth All those broken folk in Broken Hill Who have to boil their water And all those narrow minds from places such as (But not necessarily!) Narromine Repeating their call, parrot-fashion, to “Turn the rivers inland” and other unnatural acts It’s them we should be cursin’ Listen to them and problems will only worsen O Murray Darlin’ As you meander ‘round the bend I’ll miss you, and, er I love you like the farmer’s daughter Called Miranda And I’d drink you like rosewater from a tap Not the sap of an oleander There are those who say, “go with the flow, make Hay while the sun shines. There is no water problem.” I’ll take that with a dry riverbed of salt. Take heed, the day is not too far off when you’ll be saying “Hay, remember when we were making a splash in Wee-Waa and the parks in Parkes had grass and Griffith was high and not dry, and there was mildew in Mildura?” When that day comes, Murray, darling, do you think you can ever reclaim your former glory? Wilcannia!? O Murray Darlin’ I’m not certain but it seems That certain farmers Don’t care what goes on downstream Don’t they know that there is no I in team? But there is in ‘callous negligence’ indeed
12.
My Kyoto 02:34
When I leave the room I switch off the light And I print on both sides of the page I ride the tram, I’m glad I can My coffee I buy from Fairtrade ‘Cause I think I oughta I reuse grey water I don’t eat things that come from a cage In the winter I wear warm clothes inside And I don’t turn the heating up high When I boil the jug to fill my mug There’s no left over water inside All the energy that is charged to me Renewable sources supplied When I brush my teeth I only use a cup And I don’t let the tap water run My clothes get clean in one machine And pegging them out isn’t fun But a leaflet warned me when I’ve done my laundry I should let my clothes dry in the sun I make sure my finances are carbon-free ‘Cause I care about where I invest I ask my mates to investigate Put their super and banks to the test So that if they find that they’re bad for the climate I suggest that like me they divest
13.
Divest 01:31
Divest from fossil fuels. Put your money to the test Divest from coal and oil. For the future’s sake, divest Move your super and your savings It’s a powerful protest Just make a thoughtful change And let the market do the rest Divest! Divest! Give fossil fuels a rest For the future’s sake divest. Divest! For the future’s sake divest. Divest! Divest! Invest in our community. Clean power is the best By letting go of CO2 our planet will be blessed Invest in solar, wind and tide So Earth will not be stressed Renewables and technology Will help achieve our quest
14.
Bound together through the land Keep the spirit keep the way Brothers, sisters make a stand Unity will win the day Raise your banners high Strength to strength and line by line Unity must never die Raise your banners high Those who stand against all strife Those who stand for liberty Fight to win a better life Fight to keep the future free ‘Though the struggle brings you pain ‘Though the struggle brings you tears Ours will be the final gain We shall hear the victory cheers!
15.
Energy March 04:19
The wind will drive the fine white sails Of turbines out on plain and hill We’ll see a cleaner wind prevail Our Earth can live if there’s a will We don’t need your filthy coal Your coal seam gas or oil We’re not going to pay the toll Of seeing our Earth spoiled Wind power Wave power Power from the sun The power of our marching feet Our voices raised along the street Will see this battle won We’ll see this battle won The mighty sea rolls to the shore Its power, harnessed, will provide Its strength is too great to ignore It’s up to us to turn this tide Our land is bathed in sunshine bright We have to shout to make them see That power to turn on our lights Should come from solar energy

about

Now! Not tomorrow!

You’re Needed Now is Dallas de Brabander’s call to come and join us in the streets and swell the numbers demanding action against coal-fired climate change. No lame excuses please! Besides, it can be fun to celebrate the planet and look to a cleaner future for it. That’s why Ecopella observes Earth Day on a year-long rather than a yearly basis.

Celebrating our victories is a rare pleasure, so I wasn’t disappointed at having to rewrite AGL when the determined citizens of Gloucester, NSW defeated that company’s planned gasfield in 2016. Now, as we help the Knitting Nanas resist the Santos Narrabri Coal Seam Gas Project, we enjoy Paul Spencer's rewording of an old traditional melody: When Coal Seam Gas Was New.

Paul has given us a great many excellent songs over the decades, and while He’s Gotta Go is now somewhat dated, we include it here because it was so much fun to sing! We reckon ‘though that Take Me There will be relevant as long as there are idiot commentators on the Right complaining of a political influence that the Green movement can only wish we had in reality.

Ecopella rocks! Even without electric guitars or my drum kit our a cappella version of John Ross’s Councillor Chambers has much of the energy that the Born Again Pagans put into it during the 1990s. That band was led by Peter Hicks, whose satire Let’s Pretend has also waltzed its way into a choral arrangement.

And while we’re dancing, how about a couple of tangos? We love it when our friends, the Men With Day Jobs, join us at rallies to sing their Denial Tango, and it’s always a popular item on our setlists. If Canada were accessible by bike, rather than jet plane, I’d love to ask Marie-Lynn Hammond for a Two Wheel Tango.

Our second sexiest song is more local. With some help from the pop culture of the noughties, and an atlas, Clark Gormley has given his Murray Darling a sense of humour in the face of dire crisis.

The small habits recommended in My Kyoto aren’t offered as substitutes for more active political campaigning but are simply some environmentally benign things to do in daily life. Since we last recorded it, two albums ago, it has acquired a verse about a stronger action we can all take. Divest came from some words of Annie Close. We aren’t licensed to give financial advice, but there it is.

I first heard Unity by John Tams at a folk session, and recorded the singer on The People Have Songs compilation. Our later choral version’s rousing anthemic style has made it popular among the activist groups we sing for, as well as a number of other choirs. We’re grateful for the voices of the Solidarity Choir who joined us on this recording.

When we realised, a decade ago, that we needed a noisy song to take out on exuberant street marches, Cathy Rytmeister gave us illuminating words for an Energy March lauding the immense power of wind, wave and sun... and of ourselves!

- Miguel Heatwole, 2020

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released September 3, 2020

Ecopella is an environmental choir that sings about the beauty of our world and the struggle to protect it from exploitation and degradation. The choir "causes harmony to the environment" by providing activists and audiences with topical a cappella singing at a high standard. Our strong environmental message encourages positive change in people's thoughts and actions, and we offer support to a wide variety of green organisations.

Founded in 1998 by musical director Miguel Heatwole, Ecopella spread from its base in Sydney to form branches in the Blue Mountains, Illawarra, Southern Highlands, Canberra and the Central Coast as well. We have 799 performances to our credit, embracing a wide range of events: benefit concerts, protests, campaign launches, community gatherings and folk festivals.

You might expect a choir that sings about the environment to be a gloomy ensemble, but Ecopella's sense of fun fills each performance with positive and satirical messages. Even when the mood becomes serious the beauty and solemnity of the music is uplifting. Many of the pieces are original compositions and most of the arrangements are ours also. Stylistically our influences include folk, classical, popular songs, and occasionally jazz.

The choir welcomes new members and opportunities to perform. Although we accept payment, we often donate or discount our services to unfunded community organisations. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to sing with us, or us to sing for you!

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Miguel Heatwole Sydney, Australia

Miguel’s a versatile singer, choral director & composer. His interests include folk & world music, political satire, the environment, trade unionism & the responsible enjoyment of alcohol. His songwriting embraces themes like peace & justice, the family cat, & visceral passionate attraction. His enthusiasm for recording community singing has let many people share the power of their songs. ... more

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