August-September 2014: Fracking

The PMN Song of the Month for August-September 2014 is “The Faucet’s On Fire” by Roy Zimmerman from Marin County, California. Sonny Ochs, one of our judges this month, commented that “humor is always a good way to go”.  This song uses humor to make us laugh but also think about the truth about what fracking does to our environment.  The song is very funny, the effects of fracking are not. With sophisticated music and word play, including three syllable rhymes that cross word boundaries, Roy has created a masterpiece akin to the best of musical theatre.  Stephen Sondheim would be proud.  The comedy builds, getting funnier and funnier as the song moves forward, leading to an even bigger payoff or punch line at the end. This song is excellent musically, lyrically, comedically and not at the expense of meaning because it is spot on topic.

The Faucet’s On Fire

Roy Zimmerman, 2013

The Faucet’s On Fire by Roy Zimmerman

The gas is cheap, the house is warm,
The neighbor’s sick, and the faucet’s on fire

We found a pocket of natural gas, so naturally we had to frack it,
Drilling a thousand feet under your ass, making a thunderous racket,
And filling your pipes with contaminates, like we don’t give a damn and it’s true

The gas is cheap, the house is warm,
The neighbor’s sick, and the faucet’s on fire

We want you to know your concerns have been heard, so cheer up and spare us the lectures,
Our water supply engineers have assured, us that we already wrecked yours,
So if your bathroom basin is volatile, light it up and we’ll call it a lamp,

The gas is cheap, the house is warm,
The neighbor’s sick, and the faucet’s on fire
The gas is cheap, the clothes are dry,
The dog is dead, and the faucet’s on fire

Now you were concerned for your children and you thought that they’d be afraid,
But they roasted marshmallows at the same time as they made lemonade,
Oh what a future we promise you, it’s a future of wonderful benefits,
And we wish you the best of luck suing us then if it’s not

Big corporate dividends that what you smell, and that’s a relief when you’re choking,
And if we’ve given you cancer, ah well, at least we have helped you quit smoking
(near the faucet, anyway)
The whole thing is so frackin’ natural, it’s a miracle that your alive

‘Cause the gas is cheap, the house is warm,
The neighbor’s sick, the roses are brown,roy z
And the boss is rich, the dog is dead,
There’s a hole in the sky and an ache in your head,
And the house won’t sell, because of the smell,
And the EPA is AWOL
But the clothes are dry, the food is cooked,
The shower is hot, because it’s on fire

Roy Zimmerman sings satirical songs – original songs about class warfare, creationism, same-sex marriage, guns, marijuana, abstinence, Republicans (a lot of songs about Republicans), ignorance, war and greed.

There’s a decidedly Lefty slant to his lyrics. “We used to have a name for Right Wing satire,” he says. “We called it ‘cruelty.'”

The Los Angeles Times says, “Zimmerman displays a lacerating wit and keen awareness of society’s foibles that bring to mind a latter-day Tom Lehrer.”

Tom Lehrer himself says, “I congratulate Roy Zimmerman on reintroducing literacy to comedy songs. And the rhymes actually rhyme, they don’t just ‘rhyne.'”

Joni Mitchell says, “Roy’s lyrics move beyond poetry and achieve perfection.”

Website: www.royzimmerman.com

 

Get the Frack Outta Here – Honorable Mention

Words and Music by Bev Grant & Daniel A. Weiss, Brooklyn, NY.

bev grant

“Bev Grant still looks like a kid, but she has been a constant source of inspiration to me for almost 40 years… a brilliant feminist pioneer with a true rock and roll heart! What’s not to love?” – Anne Feeney

Bev Grant grew up singing and playing in Portland, Oregon, where she began her performing career as a child in a band with her two sisters. After moving to New York City, she devoted herself to topical songwriting and social activism, notably in her band The Human Condition. Bev is featured on the Grammy-nominated Best of Broadside album and is the founder and director of the Brooklyn Women’s Chorus. Her song “We Were There” has become an anthem of women in the labor movement, and many other of her award-winning songs can be found on her numerous recordings. Bev recently released a CD with singing partner, Ina May Wool, entitled WOOL&GRANT.

website: www.bevgrant.com

 

Mama Don’t Allow No Hydrofrackin’ – Honorable Mention

Colleen Kattau of Central New York State

Parody words by Colleen Kattau.

Music from “Mama Don’t Allow No Music Playin'” – traditional

Colleen is a bi-lingual singer-songwriter and dynamic performer. Her music joins rhythms of Latin America with her own roots rock and folky jazz-laced compositions. Influenced by the voice and social message of artists like Lila Downs, Holly Near, Jolie Rickman, and Natalie Merchant, Colleen creates her own aesthetic style with an impressive vocal range and clarity of sound. Her innovative poetic lyrics cover a wide and varied range from soulful sensual songs to rise up and change the world anthems. With the masterful sax, flute and vocals of Jamie Yaman, virtuoso Mike Brandt on bass, and Colleen on solid rhythm guitar and uke, Colleen and Some Guys deliver the goods in concert- it’s all ‘power and beauty steeping in a fine tea,’ fun, funny, emotive and mellifluous.

website: www.colleenkattau.com

 

Oil Train – Honorable Mention

Words and Music by David Rovics

david rovicsDavid Rovics grew up in a family of classical musicians in Wilton, Connecticut, and became a fan of populist regimes early on. By the early 90’s he was a full-time busker in the Boston subways and by the mid-90’s he was traveling the world as a professional flat-picking rabble-rouser. These days David lives in Portland, Oregon and tours regularly on four continents, playing for audiences large and small at cafes, pubs, universities, churches, union halls and protest rallies. He has shared the stage with a veritable who’s who of the left in two dozen countries, and has had his music featured on Democracy Now!, BBC, Al-Jazeera and other networks. His essays are published regularly on CounterPunch and elsewhere, and the 200+ songs he makes available for free on the web have been downloaded more than a million times. Most importantly, he’s really good. He will make you laugh, he will make you cry, he will make the revolution irresistible.

website: www.davidrovics.com

Judges for July 2014

Thanks to our panel of volunteer judges who listened to the song submissions and assessed each song according to these criteria.

 

Qualifying Submissions

There were 10 qualifying submissions for the month of August. Listen to them all here, with complete lyrics. Thanks to everyone who submitted songs!

One thought on “August-September 2014: Fracking

  1. I would like to submit a song praising the circle of influence of singer/songwriter artists who support civil efforts for peace and justice. How do I send it?

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