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Outdoors: Earth Day

Earth Day is April 22.

This event, first celebrated in 1970, was organized to raise awareness of environmental issues, and indeed it did.

In the decade that followed, legislations including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Superfund, Toxics Substances Control Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act were passed.

Earth Day also inspired a number of musical compositions including the lovely “Rejoice in the Sun” which was sung by Joan Baez.

The song was a part of the film score for a disturbing science fiction movie released in 1972 called “Silent Running” in which, after all botanical life on Earth is destroyed, an astronaut maintained a greenhouse in space to preserve plants for future generations.

Diane Lampert wrote the lyrics for “Rejoice in the Sun” and composer was the late Peter Schickele.

Yes! THAT Peter Schickele, perhaps better known as P.D.Q. Bach or as the radio host for “Schickele Mix.”

But he also was the composer of a stunningly beautiful film score.

The lyrics of “ Rejoice in the Sun” still resonate:

"Gather your children to your side in the sun, Tell them all they love will die,
Tell them why in the sun,
Tell them it's not too late.”

Earth Day is the time to gather the children and tell them it is not too late.

"Outdoors with Coggin Heeringa" can be heard every Wednesday on Classical IPR.