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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