Songs about Pollution

The oldest song about pollution that I know of about is by Tom Lehrer, a mathematician, pianist, and satirist, who wrote many fun songs. “Pollution” was written sometime around 1962-1963, coincidentally the same time that Rachel Carson wrote Silent Spring, a book which is often credited with having started the environmental movement.

It’s not just the English-speaking world that was singing about pollution, Johnny Hallyday released “La Pollution” in 1970, some 39 years ago. There’s a list of French songs on an environmental theme on Yahoo, if you want more.

More recently, the Australian group Midnight Oil have been actively campaigning in their music for aboriginal rights, and on environmental issues. Their singer, Peter Garrett, has taken his protests one step further. Since November 2007 he is the Environment Minister in the Australian government.

I was surprised when I first found out that people were singing about pollution over 40 years ago. If anyone knows of an older song about pollution, I’d love to hear about it please. Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy Tom, there’s a lot of his stuff on YouTube if you want more.

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3 Responses [lang_en]to[/lang_en][lang_fr]pour[/lang_fr] “Songs about Pollution”

  1. shannon Says:

    I greatly appreciated this. What a fascinating person Tom Lehrer is (I see he’s still living, age 80). Thank you for sharing, Tony!

  2. Eric Foss Says:

    Tom Lehrer is great, he put out 3 albums now out on CD, though the only pollution song is the one you’ve mentioned above.

    I only remember a little about that type of song. In junior high there was a song going around which parodied, “Love Is Blue;” also in the late 70′s there was a book called, “You Blight Up My Life, Love Songs To Polluters.” I wish I’d bought a copy, I can’t find any mention of it on the web.

  3. Tony Says:

    I spent a happy evening listening to all Tom’s you-tube videos while researching this post. He certainly was ahead of the times with his sense of humour.

    I’ve never heard of that book, if you ever find an outlet for it, I’d be interested to know where it is, please!