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"Earth Song" Michael Jackson

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Keyonia Witcher

on 5 November 2014

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Transcript of "Earth Song" Michael Jackson

The Song I've decided to do for my Transcendental video project is the Earth Song, By Michael Jackson.
The lyrics in the fourth verse reads "Is there a time
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war"
Michael Jackson created this song in order to depict what our planet is currently experiencing. The meaning of this song is very important to our everyday lives and is something that has continued for quite a long time. Jackson wants to educate individuals that all the wars, pollutions, and poverty is actually having a negative effect on earth and its inhabitants. However, since the Earth is speechless, Jackson decided to create this song to send a message to society.
Issues that led to the song
1990-United Nations report on climate change. They warned that global temperature rise might be as much as 2 degrees F in 35 years.
In the video, we could see some of the effects of war and the oil spill in Nigeria. There were also signs of deforestation.
What about all of the things
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the blood we've shed before
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth this weeping shores

In this stanza Jackson is asking if humanity has ever stopped to look at the damage they have been doing to the Earth over all of these years. This again goes with the transcendentalist beliefs of glorifying nature. "The surface of the Earth is soft and impressible by the feet of men; and so with the paths which the mind travels." Thoreau explains that nature is easily impacted by the decisions of man kind. Just like how our decisions as human beings are just as easily influenced by one another.
What have we done to the world
Look at what we've done
What about all the peace
That you pledged your only son...
What about the flowering fields
Is there a time

Jackson is trying to tell everyone to look at what they are doing. To stop and think about all of the nature that they are harming. "After all, the practical reason why, when the power is once in the hands of the people, a majority are permitted, and for a long period continue to rule..." Thoreau is saying that the people have the power to change what they are doing to the world they just don't realize how much they are affecting it.
"Global Warming." Facts, Causes and Effects of Climate Change. Natural Resources Defense Council. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.

"Global Warming and Polar Bears - National Wildlife Federation." Global Warming and Polar Bears - National Wildlife Federation. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.

"Global Warming Effects Information, Global Warming Effects Facts, Climate Change Effects - National Geographic." National Geographic. 1 Jan. 2014. Web. 25 Oct. 2014.

Through his music and lyric video, Michael Jackson attempts to encourage other individuals to take action and to do something about the world. If you pay close attention to the lyrics, he says "What have we done to the world, look at what we have done to the world." This is to acknowledge the fact that we are destroying our planet.
Value of the song
1990/91- War creates environmental disaster with massive oil spills. Asthma and childhood cancers rise dramatically
1993- President Clinton signs order that restricts logging in old growth forests
Sources
What about sunrise
What about rain
What about all the things
That you said we were to gain...
What about the killing fields
Is there time


Jackson shows transcendentalism in this stanza by asking rhetorical questions asking what is the point of all of this destruction. The destruction of nature goes against transcendentalism because transcendentalists believe that nature is beautiful and amazing. Thoreau says that as human beings we have the mentality to take before we actually need. He explains this in "Walden", "We are determined to be starved before we are hungry. Men say that a stitch in time saves nine, and so they take one lot of grasshoppers in the winter, -we never need read another."
What about all the dreams
That you said was yours and mine...
Did you ever stop to notice
All the children dead from war
Did you ever stop to notice
This crying Earth this weeping shores

Jackson talks about how he dreams of a better Earth. Also that one day everyone will stop being so destructive and think before they hurt the Earth or each other. "I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours." In this section Thoreau explains that when one dreams of accomplishing something, and puts forth the effort to accomplish that dream then they will accomplish it.
I used to dream
I used to glance beyond the stars
Now I don't know where we are
Although I know we've drifted far

Jackson is saying that humanity has gotten so unimaginably bad that he doesn't even know what's happening anymore. He doesn't really want to be apart of society anymore because of how bad things have gotten. "It is remarkable how easily and insensibly we fall into a particular route, and make a beaten track for ourselves." Thoreau is saying how he doesn't think society is a good thing and that everything about it is just the same thing over and over again. That no one ever stops to think or do something differently.
What about nature's worth
It's our planet's womb
What about the animals
Turned kingdom to dust
What about elephants
Have we lost their trust
What about crying whales
Ravaging the seas
What about the forest trails
Burnt despite our please

He wants to know why humanity doesn't take in the value of nature and see it for what it truly is. Instead they just waste it away and destroy it. As a transcendentalist one seeks to find the true value of nature and how beautiful is really is. "I do not wish to take a cabin passage, but rather go before the mast and on the deck of the world, for there I could best see the moonlit amid the mountains I do not wish to go below now."
What about the common man
Can't we set him free
What about the children dying
Can't you hear them cry
Where did we go wrong

Humanity needs to realize that they are destroying not only nature itself but the human nature as well. They are killing of themselves by trying to accomplish pointless task and creating a horrible society. "They only can force me who obey a higher law than I. They force me to become like themselves." Thoreau knows that society is getting to be something bad and destructive. Jackson sees this as well and doesn't want to be a part of it.
All of the visuals show the decay of the earth and the pain that is felt by the inhabitants of the land whether they are animals or humans
The visuals also show the connection between the land and the inhabitants
Them versus Us it shows war between man and nature
Land is the explicit example of how humans take advantage of what's weaker than them.
Earth Song by Michael Jackson
Keyonia Witcher
Full transcript