22 Heartfelt Songs To Help You Reconnect With Humanity, Nature and the Environment

22 Heartfelt Songs To Help You Reconnect With Humanity, Nature and the Environment

I live on a 120-acre property surrounded by trees and Australian wildlife and am connected with the natural environment in ways that most people aren’t. Each morning I make a cup of coffee and head to the verandah to watch the trees dancing in the wind, the birds playing kiss chase and my flowers greeting the morning sun.

In the afternoons, I head to my quarter-acre sloping front lawn and take a leisurely stroll with Dusty my hyperactive dog accompanied sometimes by my part Ragdoll cat Coco (this breed of cat is known for being dog-like). I often talk to them as we walk, but more often than not, I immerse myself in the wonder that is in front of me, allowing it to fill my spirit and getting drunk on being alive.

Now for people living in an urban environment (of which I escaped for a ”tree change’) connecting with nature on a daily basis is a pipe dream. The most they can look forward to in the concrete jungle is stepping out on their small patch of lawn barefoot or enjoying urban views from their tiny city balconies. Completely escaping from the hustle and bustle is not an option for many.

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So if you’re stuck in the rat race and the materialistic, consumeristic, neoliberalistic world is getting you down and turning you into an unfeeling, unthinking robot, we’ve curated this list of songs to help you break the barriers of conformity, remember your own humanity and reconnect to the world around you.

These songs will remind you that you’re more than just a worker, more than just a consumer – you are an earthling and you’re part of something more than what capitalism has built – you are a part of nature.

1. “Alaska” by Maggie Rogers

“I was walking through icy streams
That took my breath away
Moving slowly through westward water
Over glacial plains

And I walked off you
And I walked off an old me
Oh me, oh my, I thought it was a dream
So it seemed

And now, breathe deep
I’m inhaling
You and I, there’s air in between
Leave me be
I’m exhaling
You and I, there’s air in between
You and I, there’s air in between”

2. “Gone” by Jack Johnson 

“Look at all those fancy clothes
But these could keep us warm just like those
And what about your soul? Is it cold?
Is it straight from the mold, and ready to be sold?

And cars and phones and diamond rings
Bling, bling, because those are only removable things
And what about your mind? Does it shine?
Are there things that concern you, more than your time?

Gone, going, gone
Everything, gone, give a damn
Gone be the birds, when they don’t wanna sing
Gone, people, all awkward with their things

3. “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell

“They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique, and a swinging hot spot

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot
(Shooo bop bop bop bop
Shooo bop bop bop bop)”

4. “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong

“I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
Bright blessed days, dark sacred nights
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world”

5. “Mercy, Mercy Me (The Ecology)” by Marvin Gaye

“Mercy, mercy me
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

Mercy, mercy me
Things ain’t what they used to be, no no
Oil wasted on the ocean and upon our seas
Fish full of mercury”

6. “Morning Has Broken” by Cat Stevens

“Morning has broken like the first morning
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird
Praise for the singing, praise for the morning
Praise for them springing fresh from the Word

Sweet the rain’s new fall, sunlit from Heaven
Like the first dew fall on the first grass
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden
Sprung in completeness where His feet pass”

7. “Eyes Wide Open” by Gotye

“So this is the end of the story
Everything we had, everything we did
Is buried in dust, and this dust is
All that’s left of us left of us
And only a few ever worried

While the signs were clear, they had no idea
You just get use to livin’ in fear
Or give up, when you can’t even picture your future

We walk the plank, with our eyes wide open”

8. “Kids” by MGMT

“You were a child
Crawling on your knees toward it
Making momma so proud
But your voice is too loud
We like to watch you laughing
You pick the insects off plants
No time to think of consequences

Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting
To be haunted
Control yourself
Take only what you need from it
A family of trees wanting
To be haunted”

9. “Follow the Sun” by Xavier Rudd

“Breathe, breathe in the air
Set your intentions
Dream with care
Tomorrow is a new day for everyone
Brand new moon, brand new sun

So follow, follow the sun
The direction of the birds
The direction of love”

10. “Truth to Power” by One Republic

“I could tell you I was ageless
But I know you see the light
I could tell you I’m immune to everything
But that’s a lie
Dust don’t turn to flowers
Skies don’t disappear
But I’ve seen truth turn to power 

Oh, if you could see me the way I see you
If you could feel me the way I feel you
You’d be a believer (believer)
You’d be a believer (believer)
You’d be a believer (believer)
You’d be a believer (believer)”

11. “Mother Earth” by SOJA

“They should have seen when we go raping
Our mother Earth who was so fresh and green
That what we gonna give will be what we getting
And what we sow will be what we reap
If you take the blood out from her vein
Things they never ever gonna be the same
Who will repair who will bear the blame
For the cost of this dangerous Babylon game

I know, I know only love will stand
Well the wickedness come, wickedness go
Only love will stand”

12. “We Are the World” by USA for Africa

“We are the world, we are the children
We are the ones who make a brighter day
So lets start giving
There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives
It’s true we’ll make a better day
Just you and me”

13. “The 3 R’s” by Jack Johnson

“If you’re going to the market to buy some juice
You’ve got to bring your own bags and you learn to reduce your waste
And if your brother or your sister’s got some cool clothes
You could try them on before you buy some more of those
Reuse, we’ve got to learn to reuse
And if the first two R’s don’t work out
And if you’ve got to make some trash
Don’t throw it out
Recycle, we’ve got to learn to recycle

We’ve got to learn to
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”

14. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole

“Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow
Bluebirds fly
And the dreams that you dreamed of
Dreams really do come true ooh ooooh
Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me 
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney tops that’s where you’ll find me oh
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to, why, oh why can’t I?”

15. “The Sound of Silence” by Disturbed (popular original Simon & Garfunkel)

“And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
And no one dared disturb the sound of silence

“Fools”, said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you”
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence”

16. “Human” by Rag’n’Bone Man

“Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I’m only human after all
I’m only human after all
Don’t put the blame on me
Don’t put the blame on me”

17. “Stay Alive” by José González

“There’s a rhythm in rush these days
Where the lights don’t move and the colors don’t fade
Leaves you empty with nothing but dreams
In a world gone shallow
In a world gone mean

Sometimes there’s things a man cannot know
Gears won’t turn and the leaves won’t grow
There’s no place to run and no gasoline
Engine won’t turn
And the train won’t leave
Engines won’t turn and the train won’t leave”

18. “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley

“Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright
Singing: “Don’t worry about a thing
Cause every little thing is gonna be alright!”

Rise up this morning
Smiled with the rising sun
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singing sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true
Saying, “This is my message to you”

19. “Thunder” by Imagine Dragons

“Just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my old life behind
Not a yes sir, not a follower
Fit the box, fit the mold
Have a seat in the foyer, take a number
I was lightning before the thunder”

20. “Waiting on the World to Change” by Imagine Dragons

“Me and all my friends
We’re all misunderstood
They say we stand for nothing and
There’s no way we ever could
Now we see everything that’s going wrong
With the world and those who lead it
We just feel like we don’t have the means
To rise above and beat it

So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting
Waiting on the world to change
It’s hard to beat the system
When we’re standing at a distance
So we keep waiting
Waiting on the world to change”

21. “Under Pressure” by Queen

“Pressure pushing down on me
Pressing down on you, no man ask for
Under pressure that burns a building down
Splits a family in two

Puts people on streets

It’s the terror of knowing what this world is about
Watching some good friends screaming, “Let me out!”
Pray tomorrow gets me higher
Pressure on people, people on streets”

22. “Ocean” by John Butler Trio

Instrumental only

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Title image credit: Jack Johnson

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