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.

a0846287340_16

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 #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

a3090414214_16

*

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.