Camp song book

Some of the songs we sing at camp:

 

The Adaptation Song

One of our Ecojustice camp songs:

The Adaptation Song

1. I’m a mole, I’m a mole, I’m a velvety mole
Live underground in a comfortable hole
Eat all the earthworms that I trap in my hole
I’m a mole, I’m a mole, I am a Shrew-Mole.

Chorus:
Animals adapt to their environment
So they can meet all of life’s requirements.
What they eat and where they live and when they take a nap:
These are many ways that animals adapt.

2. I’m a fox, I’m a fox, yes, I’m a Gray Fox,
Make my den in caves or trees or in among rocks,
I am good at climbing trees and balancing on logs,
I’m a fox, I’m a fox, I am a Gray Fox.

Chorus

3. I’m a gull, I’m a gull, I’m a California Gull,
I eat plants, bugs, garbage, eggs, it all tastes wonderful,
Make my nest in colonies with lots of other gulls,
I’m a gull, I’m a gull, a California Gull.

Chorus

4. We are bees, we are bees, we’re a hive of honey bees,
Sometimes we might make our hive inside a hollow tree,
All us bees cooperate, as you can plainly see,
We are bees, we are bees, a hive of honey bees.

Chorus

Sheet music for the Adaptation Song

(c) 2016 Dan Harper

 

A Place in the Choir

You can find the lyrics online here.

If you’re not a Damian McGinty fan, this video may seem a little cheesy. But they sing the song well:

 

The Ants Go Marching Home Again

Another Ecojustice Camp song:

1. The carpenter ants make tunnels in wood, hurrah, hurrah,
The carpenter ants make tunnels in wood, hurrah, hurrah,
The carpenter ants make tunnels in wood,
They forage for dead bugs, their favorite food,
And they all go marching
Down into the ground
Carrying food fit for a queen.

2. The harvester ants collect seeds from plants, hurrah, hurrah,
The harvester ants collect seeds from plants, hurrah, hurrah,
The harvester ants collect seeds from plants,
The ants spread the plants all over the land,
And they all go marching
Down into the ground
Carrying food fit for a queen.

3. The thief ants steal food from other ants’ nests, hurrah, hurrah,
The thief ants steal food from other ants’ nests, hurrah, hurrah,
The thief ants steal food from other ants’ nests,
The other ant species think thief ants are pests,
And they all go marching
Down into the ground
Carrying food fit for a queen.

4. The odorous house ants tend aphids for food, hurrah, hurrah,
The odorous house ants tend aphids for food, hurrah, hurrah,
The odorous house ants tend aphids for food,
And if you step on one, the smell is quite crude,
And they all go marching
Down into the ground
Carrying food fit for a queen.

New words (c) 2016 Dan Harper ~ Ecojustice Camp

 

Adobe Creek

Another Ecojustice Camp song:

1. ’Twas in Ohlone people’s time
Adobe Creek flowed free;
With willow trees its banks were lined,
A pretty sight to see.

Chorus: Oh, from Black Mountain to the bay
Lit by the golden sun,
Adobe Creek flows gently down,
Long may it’s waters run.

2. When European settlers came,
Their thirsty cattle drank
The cooling waters, and then grazed
Along the grassy banks.

Chorus

3. Then farmers planted fields so green
Beneath the sun so bright,
And all their crops grew like a dream,
A land of heart’s delight.

Chorus

4. Soon houses spread along the creek,
But came a dreadful flood;
Creek banks were lined with with grey concrete:
No more the living mud.

Chorus

5. Down from the peaks where Live-Oaks grow,
Past houses and highways:
For fourteen miles the waters flow
Until they reach the bay.

Chorus

Sheet music with tune & chords (PDF)

Tune: Sweet Prospect by William Walker
New words: (C) 2017 Dan Harper

 

Aragon Mill

Original lyrics by Si Kahn, with his story about the song, on his Web site here.

Here’s a Pennsylvania bluegrass band singing the song (but they change the words, and we like to sing Si Kahn’s words):

“Aragon Mill” has been adopted by people around the world, any place where mills closed and people lost their jobs. In Ireland, they sing “Belfast Mill,” calling it an old Irish song — here’s Rachel Hillary singing the Irish version. And — here’s Otto Groote singing a German version.

 

Blue Boat Home

Here’s the Girl’s Choir of Wilmington singing this song by Peter Mayer:

(Dan learned this song from Maggi Kerr Peirce, who learned it from Peter Mayer, the songwriter. Maggi sings it a little differently, so what we sing at camp won’t be exactly like this video.)

 

The Cat Came Back

The Zoom kids singing this song, way back when:

Now old Mr. Johnson had some troubles of his own,
He had a yellow cat that wouldn’t leave his home,
He tried and he tried to give the cat away,
He gave it to a man going far far away.

Chorus: But the cat came back the very next day,
The cat came back, we thought he was a goner,
The cat came back, he just wouldn’t stay away.

The man around the corner swore he’d kill the cat on sight,
He loaded up his shotgun with nails and dynamites,
He waited and he waited for the cat to come around,
Ninety-seven pieces of the man is all they found.

Chorus

He gave it to a man going up in a balloon
He told him for to give it to the man in the moon
The balloon came down about 90 miles away
And where he is now I dare not say

Chorus

He gave it to a fisherman with a dollar note
Told him for to to take it up the river in a boat
They tied a rope around its neck, it must have weighed a pound
But they had to drag the river for the fisherman was drowned

Chorus

He gave it to a man goin’ way out west
Told him for to take it to the one he loved best
First the train hit the curve, then it jumped the rail
Not a soul was left behind to tell the gruesome tale

Chorus

 

Country Roads

Lyrics to Country Roads

Here’s a video with John Denver singing “Country Roads,” with the lyrics:

We sing our own words to this song:

Almost heaven, California,
Santa Cruz Mountains, San Lorenzo River.
Life is old here, older than the trees,
Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze.

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong:
California, in the mountains — take me home, country roads.

All my memories, gather round her/him/them
Tie-dye lover, surfer on blue water.
Cool and foggy, clearing to blue skies,
Misty shapes of redwoods, teardrops in my eyes.

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong,
California, mountain mamma/daddy, take me home, country roads.

I hear a voice, in the morning hour it calls me
Radio reminds me of my home far away,
Driving down the road I get a feeling
That I should have been home yesterday, yesterday.

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong:
California, in the mountains — take me home, country roads.

Also, check out these versions:
Guitar virtuouso Sungha Jung
Toots and the Maytals “Almost heaven, West Jamaica…”
Israel Kamakawiwo’ole “Almost heaven, West Makaha…”

 

Down by the Bay

Here’s a recording of the famous Raffi Cavoukian singing, in a video with scrolling lyrics:

Down by the bay,
Where the watermelons grow,
Back to my home,
I dare not go,
For if I do,
My mother will say:

“Did you ever see a fox, hiding in a box?”
“Did you ever see a duck in a pickup truck?”
“Did you ever see a bee, with a sunburnt knee?”
“Did you ever see a snake baking a cake?”
“Did you ever see a whale, with a polka-dot tail?”
“Did you ever see a rat, with a great big hat?”
“Did you ever see a spider, drinking apple cider?”
“Did you ever see an owl, drying on a towel?”
“Did you ever see a lizard, dressed for a blizzard?”
“Did you ever see a seal, making a deal?”

 

Energy from the Sun

Another Ecojustice Camp song:

1. Every form of life, both big and small:
Energy from the Sun flows through us all.

2. Light, plus 2 H2O, plus CO2
Makes C6H12O6, plus O2.

3. Plants take water, plus carbon dioxide
And they make oxygen, and food besides.

4. We’re all part of the web of life on Earth,
We’re connected to all things from our birth.

Sheet music for “Energy from the Sun” (PDF)

 

Every Living Thing: A Song about Interdependence

Another Ecojustice Camp song:

1. Red-tailed Hawks like to eat Shrew-moles when they can,
Shrew-moles eat earthworms, it’s on their menu plan,
Earthworms eat compost, and have since time began.

Chorus: Every living thing needs another living thing to survive,
Every living thing needs another living thing to survive,
Living things depend on other living things to stay alive.

2. Foxes eat rabbits and other herbivores,
Rabbits eat grasses, and fruits, and lots of forbs,*
Plants make their own food from sun, soil, water, air, and chlor–o–phyll.

Chorus

3. Mountain Lions hunt Raccoons and seals, so they say,
But when they die, then it’s their turn to be prey,
Vultures and microbes eat dead things, helping them decay.

Chorus

*A “forb” is a seed-bearing plant that is not grass.

Every Living Thing copyright (c) 2016 Dan Harper.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Sheet music for Every Living Thing (PDF)

 

Get on Board

Chorus:
Get on board, everybody, get on board, everybody,
Get on board, everybody, there’s room for many-a more.
Get on board, everybody, get on board, everybody,
Get on board, everybody, there’s room for many-a more.

1. The freedom train is coming, I hear it just at hand,
I hear the car-wheels moving, and rumbling through the land.

Chorus

2. I see that train a-coming, a-coming round the curve,
She’s loosened all her steam and brakes, and straining every nerve.

Chorus

3. The fare is cheap and all can go, The rich and poor are there,
No second class aboard this train, no difference in the far.

Chorus

4. It rolls across the trestle, it spans the Jordan’s tide,
It pulls into the depot, that’s where this train will ride.

Chorus

 

If I Had a Hammer

Here’s Trini Lopez doing his version of this classic song:

Lyrics to If I Had a Hammer

 

If You’re Happy and You Know It

1. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
If you’re happy and you know it, and you really want to show it,
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.

2. If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet…

3. If you’re happy and you know it, slap your knees…

4. If you’re happy and you know it, do all three…

 

I’ve Been Working on the Railroad

Here’s Pete Seeger, an ecojustice hero who worked for many years cleaning up the Hudson River, singing this song:

I’ve been working on the railroad
All the live-long day.
I’ve been working on the railroad
Just to pass the time away.

Can’t you hear the whistle blowing,
Rise up so early in the morn;
Can’t you hear the captain shouting,
“Dinah, blow your horn!”

Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow your horn?
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow,
Dinah, won’t you blow your horn?

Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
Someone’s in the kitchen I know
Someone’s in the kitchen with Dinah
Strummin’ on the old banjo!

Singin’ fee, fie, fiddly-i-o
Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o-o-o-o
Fee, fie, fiddly-i-o
Strummin’ on the old banjo.

 

Mercedes Benz

by Janis Joplin, parody words by Ecojustice Camp 2016

Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Teslas, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz.

Oh Lord won’t you buy me an Apple TV?
Home Shopping Network is trying to find me
I’ll wait for delivery each day until three
Oh Lord won’t you buy me an Apple TV.

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a video game
I’ve played all my old games, they all seem much the same,
So get me a new one before I die of shame,
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a video game.

Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town
I’m counting on you Lord, please don’t let me down,
Prove that you love me, I know you’ll come around
Oh Lord won’t you buy me a night on the town.

 

Oh My Darling Clementine

Here’s Amy singing this song (with lyrics):

Near a cavern, across from a canyon,
Excavating for a mine,
Lived a miner, forty-niner
And his daughter Clementine

Oh my Darling, Oh my Darling,
Oh my Darling Clementine.
You are lost and gone forever,
Dreadful sorry, Clementine.

Light she was and like a fairy,
And her shoes were number nine
Herring boxes without topses
Sandals were for Clementine.

CHORUS:

Drove she ducklings* to the water
Every morning just at nine,
Hit her foot against a splinter
Fell into the foaming brine.

*or: horses

CHORUS:

Ruby lips above the water,
Blowing bubbles soft and fine,
But alas, I was no swimmer,
So I lost my Clementine.

CHORUS:

How I missed her! How I missed her!
How I missed my Clementine,
Till I kissed her little sister,
And forgot my Clementine.

CHORUS:

Then the miner, forty-niner,
Soon began to peak and pine,
Thought he oughter join his daughter,
Now he’s with his Clementine.

CHORUS:
In the church yard in the canyon
Where the myrtle doth entwine
There grows roses and other posies
Fertilized by Clementine.

 

Peace Like a River

Tune by Marvin Frey, verses by anonymous

1. I’ve got peace like a river, I’ve got peace like a river,
I’ve got peace like a river, in my soul. [Repeat]

2. I’ve got joy like a fountain…

3. I’ve got strength like a mountain…

4. I’ve got love like the sunshine…

 

Monterey Pine Fires

Tune: “Ring of Fire” by Merle Kilgore and June Carter
Words: (c) 2017 Dan Harper

A gentle touch of fire
Is what some trees desire.
A surface fire is what’s preferred
By closed-cone conifers.

Chorus: Monterey Pines use fire to survive,
Serotinous cones need heat to open wide.
Fires burn, burn, burn, competing species.
The trees desire
A surface fire.

Fire makes soil soft,
It burns away the duff,*
And then the seeds come falling down
On soft and fertile ground.

Chorus

*Duff is the layer of decaying branches and leaves that covers the forest floor.

 

There’s a Hole in the Bucket

The classic version as sung by Odetta and Harry Belafonte:

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry, fix it.

With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I fix it, dear Liza, with what?

With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With a straw, dear Henry, dear Henry, with a straw.

The straw is too long, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The straw is too long, dear Liza, too long,

Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Then cut it, dear Henry, dear Henry, cut it.

With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I cut it, dear Liza, with what?

With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
With an axe, dear Henry, dear Henry, with an axe.

The axe is too dull, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The axe is too dull, dear Liza, too dull.

Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then sharpen it, dear Henry, dear Henry, sharpen it.

On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
On what shall I sharpen it, dear Liza, on what?

On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
On a stone, dear Henry, dear Henry, on a stone.

The stone is too dry, dear Liza, dear Liza,
The stone is too dry, dear Liza, too dry.

Well wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Well wet it, dear Henry, dear Henry, wet it.

With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
With what shall I wet it, dear Liza, with what?

Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Try water, dear Henry, dear Henry, water.

In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, dear Liza?
In what shall I fetch it, dear Liza, in what?

In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
In a bucket, dear Henry, dear Henry, a bucket.

There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza,
There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, a hole.

Use your head, then! dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry,
Use your head, then! dear Henry, dear Henry, use your head!

 

This Land Is Your Land

Lyrics to This Land Is Your Land

Woody Guthrie singing this song about how this land belongs to all of us:

And check out this version:
Boston Children’s Chorus tells you why this is an ecojustice song — we sing the song a little differently at camp, but this is still fun to listen to!

 

This Pretty Planet

You can hear a good performance of this round by a junior high choir in Texas here.

 

When I first Came to this Land

1. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a farm
And I did what I could
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

2. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a shack
And I did what I could
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

3. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a cow
And I did what I could
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

4. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a horse
And I did what I could
And I called my horse, “Dead of course,”
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

5. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a hen
And I did what I could
And I called my hen, “Now and then,”
And I called my horse, “Dead of course,”
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

6. When I first came to this land,
I was not a wealthy man
So I got myself a dog
And I did what I could
And I called my dog, “What a hog,”
And I called my hen, “Now and then,”
And I called my horse, “Dead of course,”
And I called my cow, “No milk now,”
And I called my shack, “Break my back,”
And I called my farm, “Muscle in my arm,”
But the land was sweet and good,
And I did what I could.

Although we sing different verses, you can hear a good performance of the song here.

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Summer ecology day camp, Palo Alto, CA

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