Ten Green Ringtones You Can Cut to Fight Big Coal

Just when it seemed solar and wind power–with a hand from good old conservation–might be gaining ground on Big Coal, the West Virginia Coal Association comes up with a ringtone to further promote coal.


With lyrics like…

West Virginia coal gonna take you on a ride,
Gonna take you to the city to the shore and countryside,
Gonna let you work your magic and your power and your pride,
West Virginia coal, you’re on your way!
From the coal found deep in the dark today, we come up with the light for America! America!

…those of us who care for clean air and water (etc.) might as well give up our cause!

Unless…unless we can come up with a ringtone to combat this viral mega (read: mini) hit.

[social_buttons]Sarcasm aside, I put together a list of ten (and certainly there are many more) environmentally-themed ringtones–let’s call ’em earthtones–to fight Big Coal’s itty bitty ditty. The beauty of these earthtones is that you are not forced to buy the section of the song that the ringtone provider chooses for you. mSpot.com allows you to pick whatever coal-hating or earth-loving part you’d like to cut (up to 30 seconds) to say “In your face West Virginia Coal Association!” or “In your face asthma-related deaths!” or “In your face mercury-filled fish!”…

1. Mother Earth by Neil Young
Ringtone I’d cut:
Oh, freedom land
Can you let this go
Down to the streets
where the numbers grow
Respect Mother Earth
and her giving ways
Or trade away
our children’s days
Or trade away
our children’s days.

2. Mercy Mercy Me by Marvin Gaye
Ringtone I’d cut:
Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no
Where did all the blue skies go?
Poison is the wind that blows
From the north and south and east

3. 3 R’s by Jack Johnson
Ringtone I’d cut:
We’ve got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

4. Big Yellow Taxi by Joni Mitchell
Hey farmer, farmer
Put away that DDT now
Give me spots on my apples
But LEAVE me the birds and the bees

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
Then they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see ’em
Don’t it always seem to go,
That you don’t know what you’ve got
β€˜Til it’s gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

5. Excuse Me Mr. by Ben Harper
Ringtone I’d cut:
Excuse me Mr. but isn’t that your oil in the sea,
And the pollution in the air Mr.,
Whose could that be?
So, excuse me Mr.
But I’m a mister too
And you’re givin’ Mr. a bad name,
Mr. like you

6. Fall on Me by R.E.M
Ringtone I’d cut:
Well I could keep it above
But then it wouldn’t be sky anymore
So if I send it to you you’ve got to promise to keep it whole
Buy the sky and sell the sky and lift your arms up to the sky
And ask the sky and ask the sky
Don’t fall on me

7. Bad Moon Rising by Credence Clearwater Revival
Ringtone I’d cut:
I hear hurricanes ablowing.
I know the end is coming soon.
I fear rivers over flowing.
I hear the voice of rage and ruin.
Don’t go ’round tonight
It’s bound to take your life
There’s a bad moon on the rise.

8. Treat Yo Mama by John Butler Trio (In this song “Yo Mama” is referring to Mama Earth.)
Ringtone I’d cut:
Treat yo mama with respect,
Ya better treat yo mama with respect,
Slap you upside-down yo head,
Ya don’t treat yo mama with respect.

9. Don’t Go Near the Water by the Beach Boys
Ringtone I’d cut:
Don’t go near the water
Don’t you think it’s sad
What’s happened to the water
Our water’s going bad
Oceans, rivers, lakes and streams
Have all been touched by man
The poison floating out to sea
Now threatens life on land

10. Paradise by John Prine (for those who want to fight country with country)
Ringtone I’d cut:
Then the coal company came with the world’s largest shovel
And they tortured the timber and stripped all the land
Well, they dug for their coal till the land was forsaken
Then they wrote it all down as the progress of man.
And daddy won’t you take me back to Muhlenberg County
Down by the Green River where Paradise lay
Well, I’m sorry my son, but you’re too late in asking
Mister Peabody’s coal train has hauled it away

Author’s Choice–Badfish by Sublime
Ringtone I cut:
Baby you’re a big blue whale
Grab the reef when all duck diving fails
I swim but I wish I’ve never learned
The water’s too polluted with germs

I would agree that there is an overwhelming theme of pessimism in the earthtones, but realism (no matter how negative) beats old-timey, feel-good, misleading PR stunts any day. We can no longer act like everything is OK. It’s time for change! Marvin Gaye sang about “fish full of mercury” back in 1971. Over the next 38 years the mercury contamination–primarily introduced into our food chain by coal power plants–has spread to the folks who eat the mercury contaminated fish, and drink and breathe the mercury contaminated water and air. Therefore, no apologies should be made for honesty. We now have mercury filled people ready to end our addiction to coal…

…one ringtone at a time.

Related Articles

News Flash: Yes, Coal Still Causes Global Warming
Coal is Dirty–the facts
Hilarious Old Timey Country Ringtone Sings Praises of Coal

image credit: licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

  1. Bobby B.

    Hey farmer, farmer
    Put away that DDT now
    Give me spots on my apples
    But LEAVE me the birds and the bees

    DDT did nothing to stop apples from spotting. It was Alar that gave apples their sheen. Alar has also been banned.

    β€œBig Yellow Taxi” appeared in 1970. The EPA began restricting the use of DDT in 1969 and it was officially banned in 1972. These dates as well as the following appear on the EPA’s official website:

    “DDT was developed as the first of the modern insecticides early in World War II. It was initially used with great effect to combat malaria, typhus, and the other insect-borne human diseases among both military and civilian populations.

    A persistent, broad-spectrum compound often termed the ‘miracle’ pesticide, DDT came into wide agricultural and commercial usage in this country in the late 1940s. During the past 30 years, approximately 675,000 tons have been applied domestically. The peak year for use in the United States was 1959 when nearly 80 million pounds were applied. From that high point, usage declined steadily to about 13 million pounds in 1971, most of it applied to cotton.

    The decline was attributed to a number of factors including increased insect resistance, development of more effective alternative pesticides, growing public and user concern over adverse environmental side effects–and governmental restriction on DDT use since 1969.”

    DDT has been much maligned since the ban and the positive effects that it provided during and after World War II have nearly been erased from history. Rather than question whether the β€œproblems” associated with DDT resulted from the efficacy of its chemical composition or its largely unregulated application, the environmental movement sought and won a total ban. This tactic has been used on a variety of other pesticides since this first victory. Today, we see commercials on television for charities soliciting funds to provide nets to protect those tormented by disease carrying pests. Why are nets the only acceptable line of defense between mankind and the next plague?

  2. Rob Cottingham

    Nice, Joe. Here’s my nominee:

    Midnight Oil – Earth and Sun and Moon

    There’s the contours of the mountains, the deserts and plains
    And a hurricane is blowing, and it turns once again
    Now there’s oil spills in the water where Columbus once sailed
    And there’s history and mystery and it’s rolling away

    Earth and sun and moon, human tribe, thin blue line
    Earth and sun and moon will survive

  3. Susan Kraemer

    How can we dance when our world is turning?
    How can we sleep when our world is burning?

    I remember loving these lyrics even before I connected it to climate change. After I did, these lyrics give me goosebumps.

    I think it is Midnight Oil too.

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