Future Earth Coasts workshop songbook

Bill Dennison ·
27 April 2018


As part of the Future Earth Coasts workshop in Cork, Ireland, I ended each day of the two and a half day workshop with a song. At the end of Day 1, the song I adapted was “Danny Boy,” a classic Irish folk song. I substituted the names of the co-chairs of Future Earth Coasts, Valerie Cummins from University College Cork and Bruce Glavovic from Massey University, New Zealand, for Danny Boy. The reference to Glenn is Glenn Page from SustainaMetrix.

Martin LeTissier, Future Earth Coasts Executive Officer. Image credit Bill Dennison
Martin LeTissier, Future Earth Coasts Executive Officer. Image credit Bill Dennison

Valerie Cummins and Bruce Glavovic welcoming workshop participants. Image credit Bill Dennison
Valerie Cummins and Bruce Glavovic welcoming workshop participants. Image credit Bill Dennison

Val and Bruce
by Bill Dennison

26 March 2018

Oh, Val and Brice, the coast is calling
From Glenn to Glenn and down the mountainside
The winter’s gone, and the roses blooming
It’s you, it’s you must come along on this ride.

But come ye to Cork when summer’s in the offing
When we get rain but no snow
It’s here at UCC where we’re talking
Oh Val and Bruce, oh Val and Bruce, we love you.

But when we talk, and all the seas are dying
But they’re not dead, as we can see
You’ll come and find that we’re really trying
And making a difference is for you and me.

And we shall think to our satisfaction
And all of our data will help us see
For we want to turn knowledge into action
So we can help each regional sea.

At the end of Day 2, I was able to convince Roxane Maranger from the Universite de Montreal to sing an adapted version of the Leonard Cohen classic, Hallelujah. Leonard Cohen was also from Montreal, which helped convince Roxane, self-described karaoke queen, to grace us with her beautiful voice.

Roxane Maranga, the Karaoke Queen. Image credit Bill Dennison.
Roxane Maranga, the Karaoke Queen. Image credit Bill Dennison.

Hallelujah
by
Bill Dennison
27 March 2018

Well I’ve heard there is a future coast
That is sustainable and it pleased me most
But you don’t really care for growth, now do you?
Well it goes like this:
The houses, roads, the minor stores and major malls
The baffled folks composing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Well your science was strong but you needed proof
You saw growth go through the roof
So you got involved with a Future Earth Coasts didn’t ya?
You used Our Coastal Futures Approach
With the methods that were beyond reproach
And from your lips came the word Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

But really I’ve been here before
I’ve seen this coast and I’ve walked this shore
You know, I used to work along before I knew ya
And now with stakeholders I collaborate
And the results are really pretty great
That is why I say to you Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Well there was a time when we did now know
What’s going on below
But now I think we can manage better, do ya
But remember when I worked with you
And the stakeholders too
And every breath I drew was Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

Maybe there’s a God above
But all I’ve ever learned is love
Which I can get working together with ya
And it’s not a cry that you hear at night
It is somebody who’s seen the light
When it works well we all sing Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah.

At the end of the workshop, on Day 3, I chose a more uplifting song than the “Danny Boy” tribute which is a tear jerker and “Hallelujah” which is a bit of a dirge. I love the mash up of Over the Rainbow and What a Wonderful World by the Hawaiian singer Israel Kamakawiwoʻol (aka, IZ). Joana Akroki and Roxane Maranger collaborated on this song with me. Roxane once again lent her wonderful voice to this song, and I contributed a gravelly Louis Armstrong version in the What a Wonderful World section.

Workshop participants sampling Cork,  wonderful pubs. Image credit Bill Dennison.
Workshop participants sampling Cork’s wonderful pubs. Image credit Bill Dennison.

Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World
by Joana Akroki, Roxane Maranger, Bill Dennison

28 Mar 2018

Somewhere over the rainbow
Way up high
And the dreams that you dream of
Once in a lullaby.

Oh, somewhere the rainbow
Sea gulls fly
And the dreams that you dream of
Dreams really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the sea is far and near, me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the wavey tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Sea gulls fly
And the dream that you dare to
Why, oh what can’t I?

Well I see seas of blue
And salmon too
I watch them swim for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

Well I see seas of blue
And I see clouds of white
And the brightness of Day
I like the dark
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

The colors of the ocean
So pretty to the eye
Are also on the faces of people sailing by
See friends waving hands saying
“How do you do?”
They’re really sayin’, “I, I love you.”

I hear sea gulls cry
And I watch them grow
They’ll steal more food than we’ll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the sea is far and near, me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the wavey tops
That’s where you’ll find me.

Oh, somewhere over the rainbow
Sea gulls fly
And the dream that you dare to
What oh what can’t I?

These songs were a fun way to end each day, and contributed to the overall great feeling that we gained from having such an interesting group of people working together to sketch out a vision for the regional seas of the world.

About the author

Bill Dennison

Dr. Bill Dennison is a Professor of Marine Science and Vice President for Science Application at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science (UMCES). Dr. Dennison’s primary mission within UMCES is to coordinate the Integration and Application Network.



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