Song Story: Sing a Summer Song
We frequently bring our music and dance program to the Mountain View Public Library. Their summer concert series for families — called “Sing a Summer Song” — is a really beautiful event. The shows happen outside on the back lawn, underneath an oak tree who must be over 100 years old. The tree alone is worth the visit! Don’t forget to hug the tree! I wrote this song originally as a theme for their concert series, and it expanded into a singalong about summer, about Earth, about love!
In its simplest interpretation, it’s an ode to the summers of my childhood, and the way our magical Earth spoke to me through her smells, sounds, textures, tastes, and beauty. I reference things like june bugs, fireflies, wiggly worms and other hallmarks of a Midwestern (south-central Wisconsin, to be specific) Summer. And the long days, the “tiny nights”, the warming air, the summer smells, the fresh sounds, bare feet running (my favorite!) and, most of all, my Mom’s garden and all the hot, sweaty, dirty memories of digging, picking, looking, wondering, eating.
The chorus is a sing-along — belt it out!
Sing a summer song Sing a summer song Sing a summer song for you and me Sing a summer song Sing a summer song The way we love the world is everything
The line “the way we love the world is everything” expresses one of the themes on the EARTH album — that our job is to work on accessing our innate love, compassion, kindness and generosity so we can bring it out into the world and be THAT person, as often as possible.
It is also the reminder that when we connect with Mother Earth deeply, when we immerse ourselves “in” nature, we have no choice but to remember our interbeing, to love her, and to care for her. The more time we spend outside in nature, appreciating the offerings and the ways in which we are symbiotic with Earth and the ways in which we depend on each other, the more we will come from a place of gratitude and appreciation, and also humility. This is a solid, grounded, authentic place that gives us the capacity and strength and focus to act on her behalf with compassion, wisdom and the fierce love a mother has for her child. Yes…it’s time for us to Mother the Mother!
There are also some secret lyrics hiding in the last go-around of the chorus. Listen closely and see if you can hear them:
Sing…for Earth Sing…for Love Sing…for Peace Sing…for All
Sing along! Consider the song a call and response, and mimic the lines in the verse with your response. Join in for the chorus!
Discuss ways in which the Earth changes during the transition from Spring to Summer.
Make a “seasons” poster. Divide a piece of paper into four sections, label them “Summer”, “Spring”, “Winter” and “Fall”, and paint or draw things in each section that go along with each season.
Help your kids make a list of things they love and appreciate. Then use this list to sing your own version of the song. For example, “Sing it for the polar bears, Sing it for the horses, Sing it for the skateboards, Sing it for the ocean, Sing it for my sister, Sing it for my best friend, Sing it for mangos, Sing it for my bicycle…” No need to worry about rhyming!
I hope you enjoy “Sing a Summer Song“, this summer and all year ’round. Because the way we love the world is everything!
To listen to the whole EARTH album, scroll down or visit it here.