What are we doing to this holy ground, this land that God gave to us all
'cause everywhere I hear that crashing sound that trees make when they fall
Get out of doing the things you do in the dark
What are we doing to the children's lives, the ones we shouldn't hurt at all
neil young, 1st nations out to halt tar $and$ project || winwood/spillane holy ground
neil young mother earth alberta tar sands environmental desolation
Posted on 8 Feb 2014
The Alberta tar sands are caked with bitumen, a petro compound. That sounds good. Separating it out, however, is a complicated process that took someone 45 years to figure out how to do and then still no thought was given to the waste materials that are byproducts of the chemical processes.
Neil Young did 4 concerts to help the native Canadians who oppose this project and who claim the tar sands processing facilities encroach on and are devastating their territory. Alone on pump organ and harmonica, he sings Mother Earth with (I think) a special verse and message to Canadians.
Turn up the volume a bit, dim the lights, and listen to a clear, poetic voice showing us the current devastation and wastelands created by the tar sands project.
Neil sang the song 24 years ago in a more dramatic and forcible musical style -- with electric guitar. His passion was more visible in the electric guitar version, then the view-from-above pump organ version (in which we don't see his face).
Hats off for such a powerful song sung from the heart!
A fuller account of this story is at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2014/01/30/watch-neil-young-sing-mother-earth-tar-sands-mining-ravages-her-153348
The condensed version of a feature documentary Petropolis is included in the article and is a must-see.
Further background on this tangled tale are here.
Hold the press! We have a public talk given by Neil Young in Toronto in which he speaks of what he learned and what's he learning about the Canadian government's sidestepping First Nations treaties and selling out the rapid extraction of oil from the sands at a huge environmental cost.
Greenpeace also has a short video. In fact, type "tar sands documentary" into YouTube search engine, and you will get dozens of more videos.
It's not only Athabaska Alberta tar sands that's dripping the bitumen off the sand: Eagle Ford shale in Texas is likewise in a dreamy boom town state of "mind". Politicians put their economic spin on the project while air quality deteriorates.
Our scientists and chemical engineers are so smart at figuring all the science behind the extraction. But there seems to be a moral bankruptcy in terms of duty to the earth's ecosystem, climate system, and phased usage and sharing of the oil wealth with other humans.
Steve Winwood and Davy Spillane do a song that calls for respect for the earth. It's called Holy Ground. I say that the "holy ground" refers also to our minds and bodies. Mental and personality disorders abound, cancers confound us and cut our lives short. In the age of instant messaging, we still lack an appreciation of each other, and wars and conflicts and separations and isolations are happening (not happyning) everywhere.
It starts with a stirring solo by Davy Spillane on lowland uillean bagpipes.
The lyrics are below the vid.