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 #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 #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.

Song #15: Magnetic North

magnetic north edit

Well, I finally missed a week!  I ended up taking a little break last week while I was out in Arcata, California visiting my folks and friends and the ocean.  Northern California is so beautiful!  And I love my little home town in April.  Everything was so green and blue and yellow.

marsh

In the spirit of Northerly things, this week’s song is ‘Magnetic North’ from Piti Theatre’s mini-musical “This is Your Rock”, a school residency inspired by the 50’s TV show “This is Your Life” and rocks, developed for third graders from R.K. Finn Ryan Road Elementary School, Florence MA with the support of the Xeric Foundation and the Ryan Road PTO. More about Piti Theatre residencies at ptco.org/residencies

Magnetic North
By Jonathan Mirin and Carrie Ferguson
Performed by Carrie Ferguson
Recorded and Mixed by Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA

Magnetic, magnetic North
Use me to find your way
Magnetic, magnetic North
If you’re lost, I’ll save the day

Now you’ve got your computers and your GPS
But don’t forget what’s still the best
You don’t need electricity or radiation
Just a compass pointing to your destination

Magnetic, magnetic North
Use me to find your way
Magnetic, magnetic North
If you’re lost, I’ll save the day

The compass points ‘cuz of the earth’s iron core
That’s a magnet too if you’re keepin’ score
But magnetic north is not the north pole
So don’t come to me if Santa left you coal!

Magnetic, magnetic North
Use me to find your way
Magnetic, magnetic North
If you’re lost, I’ll save the day

Let me lead you to places that you’ll want to go
What you’ll find, you never know
I might take you to Greenland or the Ukraine
But wherever you are your compass says the same

Magnetic, magnetic North
Use me to find your way
Magnetic, magnetic North
If you’re lost, I’ll save the day

Magnetic, magnetic North
Use me to find your way
Magnetic, magnetic North
If you’re lost, I’ll save the day

Song #14: Are You Dizzy?

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This week’s song is another from Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I.  I like this tune because we took a grim topic, microwave sickness and the lack of medical understanding around it, and gave it what I call “the creepy circus treatment”….the end result is weird, bleakly funny, and appropriately sinister.   Here’s what Jonathan has to say about writing this song:

“After Piti co-director Godeliève Richard developed microwave sickness in 2010, we spent a few years going from doctor to healer to doctor trying to find out what was wrong. One stop was at an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist in Northampton, MA. She had been continuously dizzy for about two years and this was a person who specialized in dizzyness. As he moved her head with surprising force from side to side, he asked her questions like “are you dizzy like you’re on a boat?” “Are you dizzy like the room is spinning?”, etc. This was the inspiration for this song and became fodder for a scene in our microwave sickness musical “Innocenzo“.

These days, Jonathan and Godeliève have launched a new project with others from the region called Hilltown Health. One of the goals is to help towns adapt their by-laws to be more protective against the 5G cellular network being rolled out which will put a mini cell tower every hundred yards or so on our roads and strip towns of their zoning rights.

For more information:

More about microwave sickness (also known as electrical sensitivity)

Dizzy

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Are You Dizzy?
By Jonathan Mirin and Carrie Ferguson
Performed by Carrie Ferguson; Bass, Percussion, Mandolin: Garrett Sawyer
Recorded by Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Recording Studio
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire recording Studio

Are you dizzy like you’re on a boat?
Are you dizzy like you’re swimming ‘round a moat?
Are you dizzy like you’re floating off the ground?
Are you dizzy like you’re gonna drown?

Are you dizzy and your head just spins?
Are you dizzy like you just had twins?
Are you dizzy and the room is spinning?
Are you dizzy like the lights are dimming?

Oh whoa, oh oh oh oh
Oh whoa, no no no no
So busy feelin’ dizzy that you don’t know where to go

Are you dizzy and it doesn’t make sense?
Are you dizzy and its makin’ you tense?
Are you dizzy and your ears are ringing?
Are you dizzy and your brain is zinging?

Are you dizzy like a merry go round?
Are you dizzy like you’re upside down?
Dizzy like an ant in a dixie cup?
Are you dizzy like you’re gonna throw up?

Oh whoa, oh oh oh oh
Oh whoa, no no no no
So busy feelin’ dizzy that you don’t know where to go

Oh whoa, oh oh oh oh
Oh whoa, no no no no
So busy feelin’ dizzy that you don’t know where to go

Song #13: North River Song

North River

Well, I am sick of winter and ready for summer, or at least Spring.  How about you?

This week’s song is an ode to all things river-related and is another one from Piti Theatre’s mini-musical, “Olde Coleraine” about the town of Colrain in Western Massachusetts.  The little black and white drawing next to the song above is a sketch Godelieve Richard did of me performing in the show.

Here’s a blurb from  Piti Theatre’s Bandcamp page:

“The North River runs through Colrain, MA and is a tributary of the Deerfield River, joining the Deerfield just above Shelburne Falls at a spot known now as “Sunburn Beach.” In the 1800’s the North River was home to a variety of mills and around these mills were small villages where mill workers lived. Children were part of the labor force but these small communities within Olde Coleraine also had their own one room schoolhouses. ‘North River’ is part of the musical “Olde Coleraine” that was originally developed for Suzanne Taylor’s 3rd grade class at Colrain Central School. This residency led to a full production for the public at Piti Theatre’s 7th Annual SYRUP: One Sweet Performing Art Festival in 2016 featuring local actors and young people. These efforts were made possible by the Mass Cultural Council STARS program and Mass Humanities.”

I can’t wait to go swimming!

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North River Song
Words by Jonathan Mirin, Music by Carrie Ferguson
Performed by Carrie Ferguson; Bass: Tommy Byrnes
Recorded by Tommy Byrnes at Sovereignty Music, Bernardston, MA
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA

It’s been a long winter
up on Catamont hill
and it’s been a long winter
down in Griswoldville

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

So . . .
Let’s go swimmin’
yeah
down in the North River
five nice spots to choose from
that’s just countin’ the close ones
still mighty cold when you’re not in the sun

It’s been a long winter
down in Adamsville
and it’s been a long winter
out in Lyonsville

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

Let’s go fishin’
yeah
down in the North River
four nice spots to choose from
we can go when work is all done
when we’ve caught enough we let’em run

It’s been a long winter
up in Gimletville
and it’s been a long winter
down in Shattuckville

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

So . . .
Let’s go picnicin’ yeah
down by the North River
three nice spots to choose from
pack bread and apple pie thick as your thumb
watch the birds come and eat our crumbs

It’s been a long winter
down at Elm Grove
and it’s been a long winter
huddled round the stove

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

So . . .
Let’s go crossin’
yeah
let’s cross the rivers
two rivers to choose from
the North and West Branch are the ones
build enough bridges to get things done

It’s been a long winter
at Taylor Brook
when the wind blew
those sawmills shook

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

Let’s get on the trolley
yeah
down by the North River
we’ve only one track to choose from
keep the windows open and sit with your chum
listen to your heart beat like a drum

So let’s go let’s go let’s go . . .
Down by the river
(another day at the mill)
Down by the river
(we can drink our fill)
Down by the river

So let’s go let’s go let’s go . . .
Down by the river
(we’ll swim every day)
Down by the river
(we’ll fish our way)
Down by the river

So let’s go let’s go let’s go . . .
Down by the river
(Down from the ridge)
Down by the river
(across the covered bridge)
Down by the river

So let’s go let’s go let’s go . . .
Down by the river
(no need for a boat)
Down by the river
(let yourself float )
Down by the river

It’s been a long winter
up on Catamont Hill
and it’s been a long winter
down in Griswoldville

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

but now we’re planting seeds
and the air is still
down by the river
surrounded by hills

Change is all there is, Baby.

volcano

Song #10:  I’m A Rock Going Through Changes

 

Download:

(See below for lyrics)

This is another song from my new CD with Piti Theatre, ‘Piti Theatre’s Greatest Bits, Vol. I’. (For the whole story about my collaboration with Piti, and this project in particular, please see post #8).

Like last week’s song, ‘I’m A Rock Going Through Changes’ was written for a residency about rocks that Piti Theatre did at the Ryan Road School in Florence, MA.  Jon and Godelieve spent a week at the school teaching third graders about rocks and creating a play.  This song was performed by the students (accompanied by me disguised as “Carrie Keys” with an elaborate wig and sparkly gold boots) in the final show for the school and parents.

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I’m A Rock Going Through Changes

By Jonathan Mirin and Carrie Ferguson
Recorded and Mixed by Garrett Sawyer at Northfire Recording Studio, Amherst, MA
Co-produced by Carrie Ferguson and Garrett Sawyer
Mastered by Angelo Quaglia

Well…..I started off deep in the planet as magma (ma, ma, ma, ma, ma)
Then I got shot out of a volcano in Japan (an, an, an, an, an)
Didn’t know who or what or where I was (uz, uz, uz, uz, uz)
Then a geologist told me I was lava (va, va, va, va, va)
Until I cooled down, she said “Now you’re igneous!”

I Said “Excuse me? Oh well, in that case, it seems completely clear that….

I’m a rock that’s going through changes
I’m a rock that’s going through changes

Now, there’s two things can happen (pen, pen, pen, pen, pen)

“Do you guys have to keep doing that?”
“Sorry!” “We’re rocking out!”

Anyway……I could get pushed underground, heated up and pressurized
Until I turn metamorphic (ick, ick, ick, ick, ick,)
Or I might get weathered away broken down begrudged bedraggled into little Pieces of mud and dirt and bone called sediments (ents, ents, ents, ents, ents,)
Then those sediments might get packed down on the sea floor and turned into Sedimentary rock because

You’re going through changes
Don’t I know it’s true!
I’m a rock that’s going through changes

Now, if I start on the sea floor I will yes again
Become metamorphic (ick, ick, ick, ick, ick)
Then I might get thrust up and weathered down
Into sediment (ent, ent, ent, ent, ent)
Now, it this is sounding familiar, well…
It should because that’s what I mean by cycle! (cull, cull, cull, cull, cull)

Or if I’m pushed once more deep down beneath the sea floor
I’ll turn into magma (ma, ma, ma, ma, ma)
Then I might come up to the surface somewhere else or get shot out of a totally different volcano in a totally different place because millions of years have gone by (by, by, by, by, by)

Now guess what happens?
Who can tell me what happens?
Let me see your hands in the air..
Yes sir-ee, who can tell me what might happen once again when
That lava that was once magma cools down and becomes….
What does the lava become?
Igneous!
Igneous, that’s right and that should sound very familiar because…

You’re going through changes…
Change is all there is baby!
You’re a rock that’s going through changes!
Everybody now!
I’m going through changes
I’m a rock that’s going through changes!
Tell it like it is!
I’m going through changes
You know it’s true!
I’m a rock that’s going through changes!
Let me hear you!
I’m going through changes!
Last time!
I’m a rock that’s going through changes!
That’s what I’m talking about!