Environmental Parodies

Songs can be recycled too, and here's some new words to old tunes:

To the tune of “The Risin’ of the Moon”
New words by Nancy Schimmel

I’ve read some science-fiction
And I know how to tell
A human from an android,
You know, I learned it well. 
If it doesn’t have a navel
It’s an alien, at best
Or else it is an android,
It’s the bellybutton test.


It’s the bellybutton test, it’s the bellybutton test,
We need a new amendment with the bellybutton test.

If it doesn’t pass the test
The bellybutton test,
It’s from a lawyer’s office 
Or a pterodactyl nest
Don’t ya tell me it's a person,
It is a thing possessed,
A corporation cannot pass 
The bellybutton test.


If Chevron is a person,
Would he adopt a child?
He’d expose the kid to benzene!
And wouldn’t that drive you wild?
If BP had a mother,
She'd turn him on her knee,
For being proud and careless
And fouling up the sea.



Words: Nancy Schimmel
Tune: Traditional (The Great Selchie)

I saw a man harpoon a whale
The whale did run,* the boat did ride,
The Crewmen pulled upon the line
And brought the boat to that whale’s side.

Then spoke the whale, “We’ll live again,
And you will feel what I feel now.
You’ll be whale and I’ll be man
And in that life I’ll strike the blow.

“And we are caught upon this wheel:
A life as whale, a life as man,
Till one remembers how it feels
To be a whale, and stays his hand.”

And still that wheel is turning round
Though factory ships replace the sail,
I dreamed I saw they still were bound,
And I was man and I was whale.

I do not hunt upon the sea--
What use to me to feel that sting?
Why should the vision come to me
Save, like the whale, that I can sing?


*That’s what they called it when the whale swam fast at the surface instead of sounding.


Hormone Deranged (The Mad Cowboy Song) © Jackson Gillman

Oh give me some meat
That I know’s fit to eat
That wasn’t raised with the cardinal sin
Of being fed flesh and bone
Ground from one of their own
Or some offal byproduct that’s been...

Hor, hormone deranged
Spreading tainted red meat and fowl
From chicken to sow, and from cow to cow
And even causing us humans to howl...

We’re hor, hormone deranged
As we further mess up the food chain
Have we gone raving nuts as we poison our guts
And create infectious holes in our brain


Intro: Shiny pebbles are the salmon’s dream,
She doesn’t lay her eges in muck,
So when the cattle come and muddy up the stream
Fishermen are out of luck

If you run cows, lots of cows under starry skies above,
Please fence them in,
Take some pride in the wide open country that you love,
Please fence them in

They are already warming the evening breeze,
Please don't let them trample sapling cottonwood trees,
Can’t you hear the salmon beg on bended knees,
Please fence them in.

Don’t turn them loose with the cactus cause the fact is they destroy the desert land,
It’s no excuse that we’re gaga ’bout the saga of the crusty old cow-hand.

About your great self reliance we’re fantasizing,
Dreaming ’bout John Wayne instead of realizing
You are the guys that we are subsidizing,
Please fence them in.

Tune: “Don’t Fence Me In” by Cole Porter New words by Nancy Schimmel


To the tune of “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds

Little boxes in the back yard
With Elmer's glue to make them sticky-tacky
Then you line them all smoothly with aluminum foil,
With a window in the top made of
Glass or a turkey-roasting bag,
You can cook without gas or electricity or oil.

And the cardboard that you cut out
To make the window opening
You can bend up to reflect in more rays from the sun
When the rays hit the black cooking pot
They turn into heat energy
Slowly cooking, never burning till your dinner is done.

Little boxes, little solar cookers
Keep your house cool in the summertime
So your fan or air conditioner doesn’t have to work so hard
And your dinner cooks but you don’t
All courtesy of solar energy
And we won’t warm the whole globe, just the boxes in the yard.

Nancy Schimmel
Written after making a solar cooker in a workshop at the Berkeley Ecology Center and then cooking applesauce in it. Zowie! It works!

Instructions on making a solar cooker out of a pizza box. Off-line info from
Solar Cookers International
1919 21st St., Suite 101
Sacramento, CA 95814 USA


Words by Nancy Schimmel
To the tune of “Wabash Cannonball”

The mother whales are singing
Way underneath the sea
Swimming down to Baja
To their whalish nursery
You can see their mighty spouting
From the hills along the shore
But they almost didn’t get to go
To Baja anymore.

They’re swimming down to Baja,
They do it every year
They need a place where they can raise
Their babies without fear
But Mitsubishi wanted
To build a factory there
And dike the sea for salt ponds,
And they thought we wouldn’t care.

But from every clime and country
From people old and young
Came letters, cards and pictures,
In every form and tongue
They said “Don’t build your factory
In the nursery of the whale,
Or your sleep it will be troubled
And your enterprise will fail.”

Well, Mitsubishi listened
And Mitsubishi caved
The peope wrote the letters
And the nursery was saved
The mother whales are singing
Way underneath the sea
Swimming down to Baja
To their whalish nursery


To the tune of “Three Blind Mice”
New words by Nancy Schimmel

CO2, CO2
We breathe it out, plants breathe it in,
They store the carbon as food and then
Breathe out the leftover oxygen
We put it together with food again
And make CO2


New words by Nancy Schimmel
Tune: Take good care of yourself, you belong to me

It’s a survival skill,
If this won’t grow, that will,
Don’t put all your eggs into one basket, they say
Give differentness a try
It’s American as apple pie:

Eat an apple every day, of a different hue
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to you.

Choose a braeburn or a rome, try variety,
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to me!

Just try a different kind, oo-oo,
You will find, oo-oo
You don’t mind, oo-oo
You’ll say OK and so will your tum-tum

Cook some fuji applesauce, it’s an A-plus-plus,
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to us.

Use the food that grows nearby, when you make a stew,
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to you.

If you can’t find what you want, change the recipe,
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to me.

So try a different treat, oo-oo
When you eat, oo-oo
Don’t eat meat, oo-oo
You’ll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum,

Let a new dish wander down your esophagus,
Take good care of the earth, it belongs to us.

New words by Nancy Schimmel. (“Don’t eat meat, You’ll get a pain and ruin your tum-tum” is in the original! “Button Up Your Overcoat”by B. G. DeSylva, Lew Brown and Ray Henderson)


To the tune of “White Coral Bells”
New words by Nancy Schimmel

Water comes down as rain or sleet or snow,
Creeks run down the mountains to the plains below.
Water rolls on in rivers to the sea,
There the sunshine lifts it up and sets it free.

Up to the skies, the water vapors rise
Single molecules all hidden to our eyes.
When they get cold, they huddle into drops,
Making clouds and so the cycle never stops.

Of course the water evaporates from lakes and streams and trees and teakettles and us, too, and rain rains on the ocean...this is just the largest of many circles going on at once.


New words by Nancy Schimmel
To the tune of Pennies from Heaven

Every time it rains, it rains acid from heaven.
Don’t you know each cloud contains acid from heaven,
And when the fish are dying all over town,
You know your country’s values are upside-down.
If you want a future full of forests and flowers,
Don’t you know we must curtail corporate powers,
So when you hear it thunder, don’t run under a tree,
Just take to the streets and protest with me.


Words by Nancy Schimmel
To the tune of “Wabash Cannonball”


I’m a ditch digger, I am a trucker too,
I run a nursery for the fish and bring a drink to you,
I’m a mover and shaker in my watershed,
I’m busy every minute but I mostly stay in bed.

I tumble down a hillside, then a whirlpool makes me dance,
I scour down to bedrock whenever I get the chance
And what I scour away, I carry with me in my flow
Till I drop it in the valley where I’m running kinda slow.


My floods are what you notice, but I’m working every day
Constructing marsh and meadow out of sand and clay,
I meander through the rushes till an earthquake tilts the land,
And it’s pick up time again for that same old clay and sand.


I water th’ willows on my banks, they hold my banks in place
And where I’m pent up by a dam, I’m ready for a race.
I’ve got boulders on my shoulders and pebbles on my bars
And where my pools are deep and still, I’m a mirror for the stars.


With only sunshine, with only sunshine
We could run our house, and so could you,
Unless we try it, unless we buy it,
We’ll never know what sunshine could do.

With only sunshine, with only sunshine
Our power wouldn’t have to roam,
We wouldn’t waste it, in distribution,
We’d have our power right at home.

With only sunshine, with only sunshine
We wouldn’t melt the polar ice
Or flood the lowlands to light Las Vegas,
Time to think about the price.

(Repeat first verse)

Tune: You Are My Sunshine, Words: Nancy Schimmel