This week we celebrate World Environment Day by presenting songs whose writers expressed concerns about our environment. Some of the songs date way back to an earlier time such as Marvin Gaye’s sorrowful plea to save the environment in his song Mercy Mercy Me (also called the Ecology song). There are several songs about water and air pollution – The Beach Boy’s Don’t Go Near The Water, Tom Lehrer’s Pollution and the short song from the rock musical Hair titled Air. More local concerns are voiced in Let The Franklin Flow from Australian band Goanna, Don’t Kill The Whale from Yes and Only So Much Oil In The Ground by Tower Of Power. Three songs deal with the destructive force of progress on the environment – Verdelle Smith’s only hit Tar And Cement, Pete Seger’s Cement Octopus and finally, Joni Mitchell’s classic Big Yellow Taxi.



  • Mercy Mercy Me – Marvin Gaye
  • Let The Franklin Flow – Goanna
  • Don’t Go Near The Water – Beach Boys
  • Only So Much Oil In The Ground – Tower Of Power
  • Great Southern Land – Icehouse
  • Don’t Kill The Whale – Yes
  • Tar And Cement – Verdelle Smith
  • Pollution – Tom Lehrer
  • The Day The Rains Came Down – Jane Morgan
  • Cement Octopus – Pete Seger
  • Air (from Hair) – Cast of Hair
  • Big Yellow Taxi – Joni Mitchell