To find my source, I typed in “global warming songs” into a Google search bar. With previous research summaries, I found myself getting bored with reading everything the author said and picking out parts that were important to their argument. I thought back to elementary school and how there were many songs about the environment we used to sing about and decided to look for a song that could fit my issue of global warming. I found a site that listed a few top songs about climate change. I scrolled through all of the songs, and Michael Jackon’s “Earth Song” struck me as the most impactful because of the video that accompanied his music. To make sure I wanted to pick “Earth Song” as my source, I listened to the other songs and looked up their authors to check their credibility.
I found Jackson’s song to be the most credible and most suited towards my issue because of all the artists I found on the site, he is the most well-known and the accompanied video is related to my issue. Jackson had previously produced songs about society (i.e. “We are the World”) and is a respected artist. This time, his song was more climate-oriented. Although the lyrics Jackson wrote are not hyperbolic or exaggerated, the video portrays a burning field with a crimson horizon and a huge storm that seems to ravage the earth while in fact is restoring everything back to its natural state. These shots in the video are exaggerated, however it is to provide insight to what the world looked like before all of imposed human products. Other shots are “natural”, in that they aren’t grossly exaggerated. These shots include tractors working on deforestation, dry fields with dead animals, and a smog filled sky with depressed looking citizens.
The lyrics Jackson uses to portray his stance about the climate change are, “What have we done to the world. Look what we’ve done.” That lyric is especially powerful because the video starts out with a sunny day in a healthy looking jungle, which is suddenly disrupted by a tractor that plows through the trees. As the video progresses, the world’s state seems to deteriorate with flash backs to the past where the world wasn’t so corrupted by humans. Nearing the last three minutes of the music video, Jackson increases the intensity of his voice where he repeats, “what about us?” in between other lyrics that question the health of the planet that shelters us and how current events are going to affect our posterity. To end his lyrics, Jackson screams, “Do we give a damn?” a question that catches the listener’s attention if they hadn’t been paying attention to the earlier “what about…” ones. These repeated lyrics give a sense of emphasis and will slowly become desensitized. Adding a “do we give a damn?” is a bold statement that will catch the attention of the viewers and receive it as a question to be thought about.
Brandt, Nick, dir. Earth Song. Perf. Michael Jackson. 1995. MJJ Productions Inc. Web. 10/28/12.