hippy-pocalypse

Music for the Apocalypse #46: Insect Nation, by Bill Bailey

Comedy, the most essential of tools in your survival kit. If you can’t keep your morale up, you’ll be lost, so keep this song from master musician and comedian, Bill Bailey, to hand. Especially if you find yourself to be a human slave in an insect nation.

And remember: the spiders are not insects, but in the war they will side with the insects.

- Apocalypse Womble out.

Music for the Apocalypse #21: Silent Running, Joan Baez

by Apocalypse Womble

So, this is the second glorious song recorded by Joan Baez for the Silent Running soundtrack – you can see the first, along with a synopsis of the film, here.

I get tingles every time I hear it. It starts out as a simple, hippytastic song about waiting for you man to come home with flowers in your hair and earth between your toes. Not an obvious choice for competent, self-reliant ladies to listen to in the post-apocalypse landscape, where survival is the first port of call. But as the song goes on the tone of regret and sadness seeps in. He’s not coming home; there are no flowers or happy endings anymore: ‘Tears of sorrow running deep/Running silent in my sleep’. It is a dream of past hopes that will never come true, innocent in their simplicity. This lady is on her own now.

Of course, in the film it’s from his perspective – a fantasy woman waiting for him at home that he will never go back to. By this point Lowell has taken the last forests of planet Earth and hidden them out of radio contact behind Saturn. He’s never going home; all he can hope for is that some day someone else will come out and find these habitats and restore the Earth. But we don’t have to take the male narratives as they are given. It’s a woman who’s singing, singing of her life, after goodness and love has left the world.

It can’t all be power chords. Sometimes you need to sit down and connect with your emotions. Sit together around your fire on a post-apocalypse evening and share memories of all that has been lost – sing a bit of Joan Baez.

 - Apocalypse Womble out.

Music for the Apocalypse #20: Rejoice in the Sun, by Joan Baez

by Apocalypse Womble

Zombies, plague, robots – we all know the traditional ones, but you better fear when the hippies bring apocalypse to the table. ‘Rejoice in the Sun’ is the opening theme to Silent Running, one of the most haunting and visually stunning apocalypse movies, and one that made a very big impression on my four year old mind as I sat completely not getting that the main character is a few chips short in the casino of the mind. He’s a peculiar kind of anti-hero. He’s not witty or rakishly handsome, he’s just so zealously in the right that nobody likes him except some broken down robots he programs to be his friends after he kills everyone else. Ummm.

Basically, Silent Running is the ultimate environmentalist apocalypse movie. Waterworld eat your heart out. The premise of the movie is that we fucked the world so royally that no plants can exist on Earth anymore. We put the ones we had left into biodomes and sent them into space. Then we decided that even having forests in space was an extravagant expense and told the men who had spent their lives protecting and caring for the forests to destroy them and come home. Lowell doesn’t like that, and that’s where it all starts going a bit wrong…

Anyway, there’s nothing quite like singing in the end of the world with the clear, resonating voice of Joan Baez:

This song features the lyric: ‘Gather your children to your side… Tell them all they love will die’ but carries on cheerfully to recommend Grow Your Own as a solution:

Tell them it’s not too late
Cultivate, one by one
Tell them to harvest and rejoice
In the sun

Let’s just say: it’s a song after my own heart. Even if you’re in space, you still have to dig for when the canned goods run out.

 - Apocalypse Womble out

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