Earth Song List
Listen to Earth is pleased to share a comprehensive database of nearly 5,000 environmental songs written and performed to:
- celebrate our connection to the earth
- deepen our sense of place
- expose environmental crises
- protest injustice
- build solidarity, and
- call us to action.
This green song list features songs with environmental lyrics. This eco-song database spans more than six decades, diverse genres, and many countries, and includes both well-known and lesser known singer/songwriters from all walks of life.
Have fun exploring this list; you’ll be astounded by how many diverse musicians and genres call attention to environmental topics.
- Are you curious about the environmental songs that came out the year you were born?
- Do you want to know how Country, Blues, or Reggae and other genres have stepped up to the plate for the earth?
- Do you want to know if your favorite musician or band is on the list of environmental recording artists?
- Are you looking for songs about a particular topic?
- Are you an historian chronicling environmental issues through song?
- Are you a teacher wanting songs about ecology and science for the classroom?
- Are you an event planner wanting to know the latest groups with environmental songs in 2019?
- Are you a broadcaster, podcaster, or producer looking for songs to amplify your programming?
Search The Music
How to Use this List
The primary database, using air table, is pre-organized and sorted first by recording artist and year.
You can search this list either using the keyword search, or you may simply sort columns by:
- Recording Artist
- Song titles
- Album title
- Album type – for eco-compilations or eco-samplers
- Availability on social media platforms
Please support the artist
Many songwriters and recording artists featured on this list depend on the sale of these songs for their livelihoods. If you find a song that you like or plan to use, please purchase the song if it is still available. We continue to update the website links for recording artists and digital availability links to make this process easier for you.
And, please support artists who are on tour. There’s nothing like live music.
How can I listen to these songs?
- Many songs are now available for purchase and review through online digital platforms. A good place to start is on the website of the recording artist if available. Where available, the environmental music list continues to include links for specific songs to their digital platforms.
- Listen to Earth is in the process of building special playlists to support environmental campaigns.
- In the meantime, check out our environmental playlists on YouTube:
- Environmental Folk songs
- Environmental Rock songs
- Environmental Country songs
- Environmental Children’s songs
- Listen to Earth owns either a hard copy in LP, CD, or cassette format or has purchased a digital copy of the songs on this list. If you can’t find a particular song, and would like a preview of the song, please let us know.
Songs that keeps giving
We humans have been singing about our relationship to earth for centuries, with some of the earliest recorded examples including the 1585 Flower Song and the Irish folk song, Bonnie Portmore, about the demise of the ancient oak trees of Portmore (1650). The songs of indigenous peoples and first nations have for centuries celebrated cultural and spiritual identity with the land. The folk music tradition of the 1960s heralded the age of protest songs. This trend expanded across many genres in the 1970s following the first Earth Day and the rise of the American Indian movement. In the 1990s, before the internet got rolling, eco- troubadours took to the road to inspire and engage impacted communities, activists, and students to protect and defend redwood forests, wild lands and wild waters. And, today, with the alarming evidence of climate change, the harm caused by extreme and risky practices of oil and gas extraction, and global calls for a new energy future, the songs keep calling us to listen to the earth.
Music and song inspire awareness and healing in ways that other types of information and cannot. This is partly because music reaches an emotional core and is personal. Simultaneously, and perhaps more than any other form of communication, music is unifying; it brings people together through shared identities, celebration, and healing. A movement is rarely a movement without song. Truly, music is therapy.
Origins & Collaborators
This environmental music list began 25 years ago with two volunteers, Dennis Hendricks and Traci Hickson, who began as environmental radio broadcasters on a small community radio station on WVMR in Frost, West Virginia and later on WERU in Blue Hill, Maine and Radio for Peace International in Costa Rica. They began collecting songs to share with others through their radio programs and first published the Web of Life Audio – Eco-Audio Inventory in 1993. In 1998, Traci had an opportunity to tour community radio stations and discover new songs in Italy, Australia, Canada, South Africa, and the Philippines. And, for two summers, volunteers combed through a huge warehouse of vinyl and lp records to find rare songs from the 60s’ and 70s’.
This song list has grown through the decades through the generosity and collaboration of hundreds of recording artists and friends. In many cases, recording artists donated their songs to this project. We would especially like to thank musician, Stan Slaughter, who donated his entire collection of environmental music to the project.
To prepare this list, several volunteers spent many hours listening to songs and coding each song by environmental topics. Special thanks goes to Traci Hickson, Dennis Hendricks, and Brittany Callaham.
This list is meant to be comprehensive and diverse, but is by no means complete, and we continue to post updates monthly. Our review process has been thorough, but we apologize for any mistakes. A few important disclaimers include:
- This list only includes songs with an environmental message in the lyrics and does not generally include songs that simply use nature or the outdoors as backdrop.
- Assigning genres to a song or artist according is challenging as many artists and songs cross genres. But, to keep the list more manageable, we have had to limit the genre types.
- Instrumental music, including the brilliant melodies and instrumentals that may blend natural sounds with compositions, are not included.
- The vast majority of songs are in English, although we’re pleased to accept songs in other languages if translations are available.
Ideas for collaboration
- Would you like a customized song-list or playlist for your website, environmental campaign, or classroom? Please let us know, we can help. This data is easily customizable based on specific topic, artists, years, or genres.
- Let us know how you’re using this list, we’d love to hear from you and share your story.
Are we missing something?
Please use this form to send us any songs we may have missed or to send any corrections.