Song #22: Earth’s Song

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Painting by Godelieve Richard

This is another track from my collection with Piti Theatre, “Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I”.  This song is from Piti Theatre’s touring production “Innocenzo“.  Jonathan wrote most of the words and as usual, I added and subtracted a few things, plus tweaked the lyrics to fit my melody/rhythm scheme (more on our co-writing process in an upcoming post).

In the play, a clown named Innocenzo develops microwave sickness, also known as electrical sensitivity.  He has a dream in which Earth gives him a message about how to find balance and healing.

Otto Schumann was a German physicist who discovered the “Schumann Resonance” in 1952, i.e., the electromagnetic frequency generated by the Earth. Someone who is suffering from microwave sickness whom Jon and Godelieve and I have never met created a video for this song:

 

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Earth’s Song (For Otto Schumann)
By Jonathan Mirin and Carrie Ferguson
Performed by Carrie Ferguson
Album: Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I
Recorded and Mixed by Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northrfire Recording Studio

My name is mother earth
I’m 4.54 Billion years old
I’ve had something to say
Every second of every minute of every day
Of every week of every month of every year
For each of those 4.54 billion years

7.83 hertz
From the land and the sea
7.83 hertz
A gift to you from me

7.83 is the frequency
Otto Schuman discovered
Back in 1954 Germany
My sweet vibration was uncovered

7.83 is a way to describe
The invisible wave that I provide
Which makes you feel at home
Wherever on me that you might roam

7.83 hertz
From the land and the sea
7.83 hertz
A gift to you from me

But somethings been happening kinda strange
Everyone used to enjoy my wave range
But with all the new waves you’re making
My message is stirred, broken, and shaken

7.83 hertz
From the land and the sea
7.83 hertz
A gift to you from me

You love my trees, love my leaves
You love my sky, you don’t know why
You love my showers, you love my flowers
You love my hawks, love my walks

But what you love most of all
You can’t see at all
Deep inside your brain
Your wave is the same as mine
Your wave was born from mine
When were together you feel fine

But what you love most of all
You can’t see at all
Deep inside your brain

Your wave is the same as mine
Your wave was born from mine
When were together you feel fine
Your wave is the same as mine
You wave was born from mine
When were together you feel fine
Your wave is the same as mine

Song #21: I Feel the Need to Know You

Sometimes at first it is tempting, or seems easier or safer, to just dislike or hate a person/thing that I don’t understand, or that I feel threatened by,  instead of examining the feelings that come up. That stance has never worked out too well for me in the long run, though.  The more dug in I get with my dislike and mistrust, the more disoriented I feel, until eventually I am obliged to go poking around in there, trying to understand.

This is another song from my Walking Songs collection.  In college I found myself in a weird love triangle and I wasn’t sure what to make of it all.  So I wrote this song.

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I Feel the Need to Know You
Written and performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music

I feel the need to know you since you’ve come into my life
‘Cause everywhere I go you’re in the corner of my eye
If you’re gonna be my enemy, you might as well be my friend
‘Cause once this love and hate gets going it’ll be the same thing in the end

And I know that I’m a dreamer
I know that that’s what makes me strong
You say that you watch life, while standing behind your window
We’ve got more in common than you think
We’ve got more in common than I know

Well, I feel the need to name you since you’ve come into my mind
I know you won’t stop moving and I won’t be left behind
I dreamed I had an apple, and when I gave you half
We found I’d cut the worm in two, we both just had to laugh

And I know that I’m a dreamer
I know that that’s what makes me strong
You say that you watch life, while standing behind your window
We’ve got more in common than you think
We’ve got more in common than I know

 

Song #20: Jupiter

This is my 20th post, folks!  Pretty exciting!  I’ve been doing this Song Blog for 20 weeks now, not counting the week I took off for vacation.  It has been a blast and I’m looking forward to the next 20 weeks!

Because this month’s night sky is bejeweled with gleaming planets, song #20 is “Jupiter” from my collection “Walking Songs”

From 1993-1996, I worked as a cook at the Northampton Center for Children and Families, a little non-profit residential school for kids with emotional/behavioral issues.  Four days a week it was my job to cook lunch and dinner for about 50 people.  I worked alone in a well-lit, medium-sized kitchen at the back of the building.  There were windows along the back looking out into the school yard and I could watch the kids and staff smoking together (it was the 90’s!) on their breaks.  I cooked giant sheet pans of pizza, sloppy joes, tacos, sheperd’s pie, baked chicken, roasted potatoes, chicken nuggets, oven-grilled-cheese, tater-tots, lasagna, pot pie, apple crisp, spaghetti and meatballs….

It was a solitary job, except for at meal times, and I mostly liked it.  I love cooking for groups (I still do), the kitchen was comfortable (except in the summer) and I mostly enjoyed having all the time to myself.  I used to listen to the radio, top 40 during the day and NPR in the evening.  Top 40 back then was Alanis Morisette, Joan Osborne, Nine Inch Nails, Nirvana, Creed, Alice in Chains, Gwen Stefanie, Marilyn Manson, Beck….

One day in July of 1994 I was listening to the news on NPR and they were talking about an impending asteroid collision with Jupiter.  All the scientists were super excited, pointing their telescopes up there, wondering what was going to happen, what they would see, etc.  I remember the phrase “string of pearls” was used to hypothetically describe what the asteroid would look like breaking up into little pieces in Jupiter’s atmosphere.  Carl Sagan came on and talked about how Earth was in danger of just such an event and how we should prepare ourselves.  His idea was that we could design some sort of anti-asteroid weapon that would launch calculated nuclear explosions near the rocks, basically steering them away from Earth’s atmosphere.  The whole thing made me super uneasy and got me thinking about the impact of humans on the universe, and the difference between “natural” and “man-made” events.   (Click here for more information about the Shoemaker-Levy comet of 1994)

Back to 2018:  here’s what the website Space.com has to say about June’s night sky:

 Saturn is visible virtually all night long this month, coming to opposition on June 27th and being accompanied across the sky that night from horizon to horizon by a full moon. Venus reaches its highest point above west-northwest horizon at sundown for 2018 this month. Speedy Mercury can be spied late in the month far to the lower right of Venus. Jupiter dominates the sky after Venus has set, remaining in view for most of the night. And finally, there is Mars which more than doubles in brightness during June as its distance from Earth decreases by half a million miles per day on its way to its closest approach to our planet in 15 years. It pops up above the east-southeast horizon around midnight at the start of June and about 90 minutes earlier by month’s end.

Happy planet gazing!

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Jupiter
Written and Performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded, Mixed, Mastered by Tommy Byrnes, Sovereignty Music

Jupiter is calling from her cloud of gaseous atmosphere
She’s worried ‘bout the string of pearls the universe is sending her
And up here on the Earth we’re waiting, telescopes trained, anticipating
Hoping the explosion is big enough to see
Secretly we’re hoping it will never happen here
Don’t forget that’s how we got here in the first place

Jupiter is calling, Jupiter is calling

Carl Sagan in his Mr Rogers sweater writes a letter to the
President: it’s evident that we have the technology
To change the course of any comet threatening our existence here on Earth
Its worth investigation, just a simple detonation
Of a string of nuclear bombs designed to herd those rocks like cattle

Jupiter is calling, Jupiter is calling

Playing God with match books and test tubes of nuclear winter
We’ll know that we had heaven once we’ve turned it in to hell
And if Mother Nature, Great Creator, God, the Tao is watching now
Is it surprised or angry or is this part of the plan?
The beaver gnaws down trees to build its damn while we just mine for Uranium
Artistic license, identity crisis, nature or nurture, we’re not sure
But who needs asteroids when you’ve got bombs of your own?

Jupiter is calling, Jupiter is calling

Song #19: The Joyful Bee

Again, in honor of Spring and the recently passed EU ban on bee-killing pesticides,  this week’s song is “Joyful Bee”, from Piti Theatre’s touring play with music “To Bee or Not to Bee”, which deals with Colony Collapse Disorder in beehives.  (For more information on the EU ban check out this  New York Times article )

“Joyful Bee” is the first song I ever wrote for Piti Theatre, and one of two songs I’ve written with Piti (out of about 40 and counting!) that was not a lyric/music collaboration with Jonathan Mirin.  Way back in the Fall of 2010, I had just agreed to work with Jon and Godelieve on “To Bee or Not to Bee”  They hadn’t given me an official assignment yet,  but I was so excited about the project that I drove around singing and this tune just came out.  (For backstory on my collaboration with Piti Theatre, please see post #8)

The musical play “To Bee or Not to Bee” was written by Jonathan Mirin in 2012 and traces the fallout  of a farmer’s decision to transform his sustainable small farm into a pesticide/herbicide-dependent mono-culture corn operation.  This tragic story reflects on a micro scale the downward spiral of depleted soil, increased disease, loss of bio-diversity and pollinator peril currently being experienced world-wide due to pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer-addicted, mono-cropping Big Agro. Biz.

Fortunately, art is not only a powerful tool for examining the grim reality of the present, but also for imagining a more positive future, and Jon has crafted the arc of the play to end on a note of hope.  The song “Joyful Bee” comes at the very end of the show when a local wise woman beekeeper has sent Farmer James a nuc (package) of bees to start over with, along with some wisdom about how to transform his farm back into a bee-friendly place.

For more information about the show, plus upcoming performances, please visit ptco.org/tobee

“Joyful Bee” is also the first track on our recent compilation, “Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I”  which you can find online at Bandcamp.

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Art by Godelieve Richard
The Joyful Bee
Album: Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I
Performed by Carrie Ferguson; Mandolin, Bass, Percussion: Garrett Sawyer
Recorded and Mixed by Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire Recording Studio

I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee
I love the flowers and the flowers love me
I’m fuzzy and buzzy, its the best way to be
I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee

When I get to a flower, well I feel the power
I drink up the nectar and I get real full
I fly to the hive and I feel so alive
I drop off the nectar and I go get some more

I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee
I love the flowers and the flowers love me
I’m fuzzy and buzzy, its the best way to be
I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee

Out in the meadow where the grass is green
The blossoms blossom and the air is clean
Sweetest nectar that I ever seen
I’m gonna bring it home to my honey Queen

I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee
I love the flowers and the flowers love me
I’m fuzzy and buzzy, its the best way to be
I’m a bee, I’m a bee, I’m a honey bee

Song #18: Soapy Water

red shirt

Here is another lullaby, this time from my Walking Songs collection.  I wrote this one somewhere around 1991, when I was 21.  I remember it was a gray rainy day, early Spring,  and I was in downtown Amherst, MA, waiting for the bus to take me to the University of MA.  As always in those days, I was a little bit anxious and heart-broken.  I had a new pair of used shoes.  They were black and pink L.A. Gear hightops and I’d bought them for 50 cents at Salvation Army.  They were magical, sturdy shoes, almost like boots, and they kept my feet very cozy.  I was also wearing my favorite red flannel shirt and thinking longingly of warmer weather or at least my cozy bed.

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Soapy Water
Written and performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded, mixed, mastered by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty, Bernardston, MA
Album: Walking Songs

This soapy water, gonna wash you with it
Gonna send your bad blues spinning down the drain
Can I scrub your back, maybe it will soothe you
Soak you in loving, strong as any pain

I’d like to live my life like a red flannel shirt
Jumping into the wind clean free of the clothes line
And I’d be dancing in my colors between the sun and the Earth
And the same wind that takes me away can carry me home
The same wind that takes me away can carry me home

Song #17: Lullabye for Me

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This week’s song, in honor of my own ongoing, ever-evolving relationship with sleep, is a little ditty about insomnia.

“Lullabye for Me”  is from Piti Theatre’s show “Innocenzo”, and is “the story of a clown who moves to a Swiss city only to find he’s becoming sick from electromagnetic pollution. Innocenzo sings this song to comfort himself in his insomnia and his neighbors join in – it turns out they’re also having trouble sleeping.”   www.ptco.org/innocenzo

I’ve had sleep issues myself off and on for years but just recently have been experiencing full on insomnia, you know, where you literally DON’T SLEEP ALL NIGHT.  I’ve  tried a bunch of different “natural” and pharmaceutical “sleep remedies”, with little success.

sleep aids 2

If you’re currently experiencing insomnia, you might want to check out this extremely thorough list:    50 ways to improve sleep.  They even walk you through how to construct a Faraday cage for blocking electromagnetic pollution.  And, there’s a helpful video of a breathing exercise by Andrew Weil.

Something that has been really helping me is a nifty little practice called EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), or “Tapping”.  If you haven’t heard of it, it’s sort of a cross between self-hypnosis and acupressure.  Besides helping with insomnia, EFT has proved to be effective in addressing many other different psychological, physical, and spiritual issues.  I highly recommend it.  I found my tapping script for insomnia on the EFT Universe site.

I’d love to hear about what other folks have tried for insomnia.  Let me know!

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Lullabye to Me
Lyrics by Jonathan Mirin, Music by Carrie Ferguson
Album: Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I
Recorded and Mixed by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music, Bernardston, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA

Sing a lullabye for me
Cause I can’t sleep
I’m so tired
Of counting sheep

A lullabye for me
I want sleep
The sheep are tired
Of jumping over me

It would
Be so sweet
If i could
Fall asleep

I’d have
A beautiful dream
So sing a
Lullabye to me
Goodnight Innocenzo
Sleep tight Innocenzo
Goodnight Innocenzo
Goodnight

Song #16: The Blossom and the Bee

Great news!  The EU just passed a total ban on bee-killing pesticides in all 28 EU countries!  The new law “bans some of the world’s most common insecticides, pressing industry to develop a whole new model of non-toxic agriculture.”  For more information, check out this New York Times article.

This week’s song, in honor of Spring, and in honor of this historical decision, is ‘The Blossom and the Bee’, another one from my new CD with Piti Theatre, ‘Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I’.   This song is from Piti’s musical, “Olde Coleraine” and was originally written to be a duet between Reverend Lorenzo Langstroth and his friend/business partner William W. Carey who owned apple orchards and kept bees in Colrain in the second half of the 1800’s.  Langstroth, who was also the minister at Second Congregational Church in Greenfield, is known as the “Father of American Beekeeping” because he invented the stackable frame beehive, a type of hive still used by more than 90% of beekeepers around the world. He went into business with Carey building these hives. More at  ptco.org/milltown

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The Bee and the Blossom
By Mirin and Ferguson
Album: Piti Theatre’s Greatest Hits, Vol. I
Performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded and Mixed by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music, Bernardston, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire Recording Studio
The bee and the blossom, the blossom and the bee,
Apples and honey go together you see.
The bee and the blossom, the blossom and the bee,
That’s why I have an orchard and an apiary.