Musicians have been writing powerful, thought-provoking song lyrics for a long time now. After all, what better way to get your point across than to sing it? 

There are many songs out there with important messages in their lyrics; some of which we may not have even realised were there. 

The list below consists of eight songs with lyrics relating to the increasingly important topic of sustainability. Each of the songs comment on the ways in which human beings have ruined what was once so beautifully preserved, and highlight the importance of making changes now to prevent future damage. 


1. Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell 

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot... 

They took all the trees and put ‘em in a tree museum,

And they charged the people a dollar and a half to see them.”


2. Earth Song – Michael Jackson

 “What about animals, turned kingdoms to dust

What about elephants, have we lost their trust

What about crying whales, ravaging the seas

What about forest trails, burnt despite our pleas

What have we done to the world? 

Look what we’ve done.”


3. Burn Baby Burn – Hudson Ford

“The earth is getting dryer,

The flames are going higher,

My clothes are dirty and the sky is grey, 

And I’ve not anything to wash my hair, 

Because all the detergents are on the river bed.”


3. Too Much – Dave Matthews Band 

    “Traffic jam got more cars, than a beach got sand

Suck it up suck it up suck it up, fill it up until no more

I eat too much, I drink too much, I want too much…”


4. Eyes Wide Open – Goyte

“We made out like we heard, they were only words

They didn’t add up to a change in the way we were living,

And the saddest thing is all of it could have been avoided...

But it was like to stop consuming’s to stop being human

And why would I make a change if you won’t?” 


5. Nobody’s Fault – Aerosmith 

“Don’t be sorry.

Man has known, and now he’s blown it

Upside down and hell’s the only sound,

We did an awful job and now they say it’s nobody’s fault”


6. Hungry Planet – The Byrds

“I’m a hungry planet, I had the bluest seas

Oh the people kept choppin’ down, all my finest trees

Poisonin’ my oxygen, diggin’ into my skin

Takin’ more out of my good earth

Than they’ll ever put back in.”


7. Wake Up America – Miley Cyrus

“The earth is calling out… 

Wake up America, we’re all in this together, 

It’s our home so let’s take care of it…

Yes everything you do matters in some way.”


8. Waiting On The World To Change – John Mayer

“Now we see everything that’s going wrong,

With the world and those who lead it, 

We just feel like we don’t have the means, 

To rise above and beat it.

So we keep on waiting, waiting on the world to change.” 


As all of these songs suggest, human beings hold the power to either destroy or create a sustainable environment for future generations. 

If we start by thinking about the amount of food, water, clothing and other materialistic possessions that we each unnecessarily consume/buy every day, then we will surely realise that changes need to be made. 

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