Songs of Change (Transition Radio vol. 2)

Songs of Change (Transition Radio vol. 2)

Well… when I read – and heard – the article of Sören, where he posted his current Transition Radio playlist, my head started spinning. I spent the rest of the day rummaging through the melodies and lyrics in my head. I found songs that got me started years ago, songs that pull me down, others that bring me back on track and make me sanguine again on these winding waves of change. To add some more songs to the playlist for these turbulent summer days I’ll throw in my current nine favourite songs of change.

As I am loving most songs for their lyrics as much as for their sound I will also share my favourite lines with you.

Here we go! The first song is “Eyes wide open” from Gotye from Belgium/Australia, a song that describes a feeling I have about our society quite often. My favourite lines from it are

And the saddest thing
Is all of it could have been avoided
But it was like to stop consuming’s
to stop being human
And why’d I make a change if you won’t?
We’re all in the same boat
Staying afloat for the moment

We walk the plank with our eyes wide open…

When I’m really pessimistic about how all our current crises will develop and what our future generations will have to deal with, it sometime helps me to look in the past. One of my favourite songs ever that gives me goosebumps every time is “Times they are a-changing” from Bob Dylan. When I listen to that song I think about the generations of changemakers before us and about how many things already have changed in these few years since 1964. I think about that change takes generations and that some things maybe never change. My favourite lines from it are

And admit that the waters around you have grown
And accept it that soon you’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth saving
Then you’d better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times, they are a changing

 The next song is “Taro” from alt-j from the UK which I found with this beautiful footage of a film from 1988 called “Life in Transformation”. This clip reminds me of my travels and of all the people we share this planet with, their hopes, joys and challenges. It challenges me and gives me hope at the same time through showing me the many different ways there are to be on this earth. The lyrics are a bit cryptic, but they told me the story of two war photographers, Gerda Taro and Robert Capa. Both of them died while working to bring the reality of war to the people. It humbles me to see, how far some people go to follow their ideals.

When I have the feeling that there are too many fires to fight at the same time and I feel the urge to just run away it is good to have a song that just makes you breathe. The song “Rise” from Eddi Vedder grounds me again and keeps me flexible at the same time. It give me courage and trust. The footage from the film “Into the wild” reminds me of beautiful moments I had in nature and gives me an idea about the connection with nature and ourselves we maybe once had. My favourite lines are

Gonna rise up
Turning mistakes into gold…

Gonna rise up
Find my direction magnetically

When I am in the flow and productively working for change it is always nice to have some background music. “With my own two hands” from Ben Harper is tried and tested and I had a really good time with it while building a geodetical dome in the heat of the European Permaculture Convergence 2012. My favourite lines are

I can change the world
With my own two hands…

And I can reach out to you
Oh- with my own two hands

To stay motivated and inspired it helps me to listen to the stories of change from others. The next song is from Paul Kelly and is called “From little things big things grow“. It is an Australian song and tells the story of the Aboriginal Vincent Lingiari and the strike for better working conditions of the Gurindji people that lasted eight years and led to the Aboriginal Land Rights (Northern Territory) Act in 1976. It helps me remember that small steps also count and might have unforseen consequences in years to come. My favourite lines from it are

That was the story of Vincent Lingiari
But this is the story of something much more
How power and privilege can not move a people
Who know where they stand and stand in the law

With the next song we stay on the same continent, Australia. This song is from the adorable Formidable Vegetable Sound System and is called “Many, Many“. Although it talks mostly about biodiversity and the abundant diversity of gut bacteria I connect it to my year in Melbourne, where Permaculture was all around me together with people from all over the globe. I loved that mix and the dynamic it brought. It makes me sad, that  too many people in my hometown are unreasonably xenophobic. What an ugly face of humankind. To get in a better and more productive mood I listen to Charlie Mgee when he sings

Diversity is your friend

The next song “23:55 Alles auf Anfang” is from the amazing German band Wir sind Helden and talks about resigning (or not) faced with all the current issues. The lyrics are great but complex and hard to translate (Sorry for that…go translate it yourself ;) ) My favourite lines are

Fühlst du dich mutlos
Fass endlich Mut los
Fühlst du dich hilflos
Geh raus und hilf los
Fühlst du dich machtlos
Geh raus und mach los
Fühlst du dich haltlos
Such halt und lass los

Ihr sagt
“Kein Ende in Sicht”
Wir sagen
“Fünf vor Zwölf – Alles auf Anfang”

And last but not least, the next song seems to be my song of the week. It is “Miracle” from Blackmill and sounds like a sunny late summer morning to me. It helps me feel deep gratitude and that ultimately everything that happens to us is a miracle, a gift and an invitation to grow. There are no lyrics necessary to make this song even better… at least not in my opinion ;)

All the songs in one playlist can be found here. Thank you Sören for that great idea and post!

How does transition sound to you?

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This article was written by

Hi, my name is Julia and I am a permaculturist, an environmental engineer and a blogger for the ARTS region Dresden, Germany. I lived and worked in Dresden, India and Australia on organic farms, in development projects and towards a better understanding of human society. I am excited to be a part of the ARTS project because I see great potentials in combining the efforts of many towards sustainable change. See my blog at

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