10 Best Songs About The Environment

If you want to impress that hot hippie chick at the coffee shop, or you just want your iPod to go green, check out these 10 best songs about the environment.

  1. “Big Yellow Taxi” by Jodi Mitchell: Some songs go for subtlety, but this one gets straight to the point. Nature is paradise, but we paved it, and put up a parking lot. Guess we really don’t know what we’ve got ‘till it’s gone. Bummer, but this is certainly one of the best songs about the environment. It was also famously covered by Counting Crows.
  2. “(Nothing But) Flowers)” by Talking Heads: This song is pretty much the exact opposite of “They Paved Paradise.” When the world falls apart, nature reclaims what’s hers. It’s a very pleasant song about the apocalypse.
  3. “Monkey Gone to Heaven” by The Pixies: The Pixies are a weird band with weird lyrics, but they rock. In this song they mention, “there was a guy/ An under water guy who controlled the sea/ Got killed by ten million pounds of sludge/ From New York and New Jersey.” Message: don’t pollute, making this one of the best songs about the environment.
  4. “Don’t Go Near the Water” by Johnny Cash: This is another song about polluted water. When Johnny Cash says don’t pollute, you better listen. Some people say he shot a guy in Reno just ‘cuz, so you don’t want to give him a reason.
  5. “Gone” Jack Johnson: Most songs about the environment have a message. This one is pretty simple. If we don’t care about stuff (the environment), it will be gone. Listen to Jack’s soothing voice. Give a damn.
  6. “Do the Evolution” Pearl Jam: This is a song about the evolution of man, and humanity's role in destroying the earth. It’s one of the best songs about the environment because it asks people to assess their role in the natural order of things. Is our evolution destroying everything else?
  7. “I Remember California” R.E.M.: Some people see this song as an obituary for California. The narrator remembers it because it’s gone, and it’s gone because humans killed it. That interpretation makes this one of the best songs about the environment.
  8. “To the Last Whale” Crosby and Nash: Environmentalists have always been trying to save the whales. And as long as people are trying to save them, eco-conscious singers will sing about them. This song has a pretty simple environmental message: stop killing the big fat whales.
  9. “Shapes of Things” by The Yardbirds: This song about the environment is another bleak analysis of our planet’s future. It starts with a question: “Now the trees are almost green/ but will they still be seen.” And it ends with a plea: “Please don't destroy these lands/Don't make them desert sands. “
  10. “Where the Streets Have no Name” U2: Most U2 songs have some sort of environmental or political message. Actually, most have a mixture of several different messages. This hit sneaks in a line about poison rain, which is no fun for anyone.
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