Music on Monday

Summer 2024  - caring for our world

Summer 2024

22nd July

The Beatles

This is arguably the most feel-good song The Beatles ever wrote, a continual favourite when the summer finally comes around again after the long winter.

It's almost impossible not to feel optimistic listening to 'Here Comes The Sun' - you can tangibly hear the sense of relief about the seasons changing, or the new dawn beginning.

Despite the sheer amount of chart hits and classic tracks that have soundtracked people's lives since they formed, this gorgeous ode to change remains a firm favourite of The Beatles' entire repertoire.

The lyrics and feel-good melody represent how we feel in school this week- looking forward to a long summer break after all of our hard work and efforts this year.

8th July


Coldplay has been a vocal advocate for fair trade, actively supporting the movement through various means over the years. Their involvement began in the early 2000s, driven by a desire to promote social and economic justice for producers in developing countries.

Coldplay have endorsed fair trade products, particularly those certified by organizations like Fairtrade International. They have helped raise awareness about the importance of purchasing products that ensure fair wages and working conditions for producers. Also, in 2002, Coldplay partnered with Oxfam’s Make Trade Fair campaign. This collaboration included wearing “Make Trade Fair” wristbands and incorporating fair trade messages into their concerts and public appearances. The band encouraged fans to support fair trade initiatives and sign petitions advocating for trade justice.

Coldplay members, particularly frontman Chris Martin, have used their platform to speak out about fair trade. Martin has visited trade producers in developing countries, such as coffee farmers in Ghana, to highlight the positive impact of fair trade.  

Coldplay’s commitment to fair trade is also reflected in their music and public statements. They often incorporate messages about social justice and ethical trade into their lyrics, interviews, and live performances.

"Clocks" is considered to be one of Coldplay's signature songs, and is often ranked among the greatest songs of the 2000s and of all time. In 2010, the single was placed at 490th on Rolling Stone’s "500 Greatest Songs of all Time” list. In 2011, NME placed it amongst the "150 Best Tracks of the Past 15 Years", and it is still just as popular today. 

1st July

Michael Jackson

Earth Song was recorded for Michael Jackson’s 1995 album HIStory.   Michael Jackson said of the song’s creation: “I remember writing ‘Earth Song’ when I was in Austria, in a hotel.  And I was feeling so much pain and so much suffering of the plight of the planet Earth.  And for me, this is Earth’s Song, because I think nature is trying so hard to compensate for man’s mismanagement of Earth.  And with the ecological unbalance going on, and a lot of the problems in the environment, I think Earth feels the pain, and she has wounds. It’s about some of the joys of the planet as well”.

The track sees Michael sending out a wakeup-call of sorts about the terrible conditions that mankind has caused to the world, through their selfish and disrespectful behaviour.

24th June

The Beatles

This song supposedly kickstarted the glorious music revolution of the 1960s. It allowed The Beatles to gain popularity on the other side of the Atlantic, transforming the band from complete unknowns into the biggest sensation that rock’n’roll had ever seen; up until this point, Beatlemania remained a purely British phenomenon. The joyous track blasted over the airways at a point when America was still reeling from the November 1963 assassination of John F. Kennedy. The band went on to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show, drawing 70 million viewers in February 1964—the most in the history of TV at that time.


This week we are finding out about 'Earth Shakers', scientists, explorers, activists, inventors, conservationists and, perhaps most importantly, young people, who work to protect our planet and give a voice to nature. Hopefully the stories will inspire you to want to join and 'hold hands' with the people really making a difference to the environment. 

17th June

Cold Play

Coldplay address the worldwide refugee crisis during this song, highlighting their plight. We hear about the migrants being forced to move "in the dead of night," children crying and the desperate people "hovering without a home."

Coldplay donated all proceeds from the song to Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), an international NGO which rescues migrants and refugees in peril at sea in the Mediterranean. The band are patrons of the charity.

The song was written by their Viva La Vida collaborator Brian Eno. He was assisted on the production by Marckus Dravs, who is known for his work with Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Kings Of Leon.

The song's wacky animated space video was directed by Diane Martel and Ben Jones. The scenes of extraterrestrials fleeing their war torn planet acts as an appropriate metaphor for migrants around the world who have been forced to flee their homelands.

10th June

Vanessa Williams

"Colours of the Wind" is a song written by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Stephen Schwartz for Walt Disney Pictures' feature film, Pocahontas (1995). The film's theme song, "Colours of the Wind" was originally recorded by American singer and actress Judy Kuhn in her role as the singing voice of Pocahontas. A pop ballad, the song's lyrics are about respecting nature and the world around us.   

"Colours of the Wind" received a mostly positive reception from critics, with several citing it as one of the best songs from a Disney film. The song would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song, the Grammy Award for Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media, and the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. American actress and singer Vanessa Williams's version of the song, which plays during the end credits, was released as the lead single on May 23, 1995, by Walt Disney Records from the film's soundtrack, and became a top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was also included on her third album, The Sweetest Days. "Colours of the Wind" would also be covered by other artists, including Ashanti and Brian Wilson.

3rd June

Paul McCartney and other artists

Back in 2015, Paul McCartney teamed up with a host of famous musicians (Jon Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, Sean Paul, Angelique Kidjo, Natasha Bedingfield, Fergie, Nicole Scherzinger, Leona Lewis and many others) to record a song dedicated to taking action to save the world.  The song aims to bring climate change to the attention of a new audience and inspire people across the world to encourage their leaders to take action.  Listeners were asked to sign a petition that was delivered to political leaders at the start of the climate conference in 2015.  The song is just as relevant today as we all try our best to secure the future of our planet.  

20th May

Ludovico Einaudi

The Arctic. A place of outstanding beauty. The striking cold, the pristine environment, the silence broken only by the creaks and rumbles of ice falling; the Arctic is a unique place that desperately needs our protection.  And it needs protection urgently. The Arctic Ocean is the least protected sea in the world. As ice cover decreases with rising temperatures, the sea becomes more and more exposed to reckless exploitation, destructive fishing trawlers and risky oil drilling.  To date, over eight million people have petitioned to save the Arctic and, last year, Italian composer and pianist Ludovico Einaudi added his voice to the millions in a unique and unprecedented way.

In a stirring video created by Greenpeace, Einaudi plays on a platform floating in the Arctic Ocean. Einaudi’s music provides a soundtrack to the Wahlenbergbreen glacier’s early melting. The haunting music shows the peaceful, almost contemplative, setting of the arctic ocean as well as the chaos and suddenness of glacier melt and collapse.


“I wanted to express the idea of eternity and fragility that I had felt in that place. The glacier is so immensely powerful, yet on the brink of eradication. This fragility of life is something which we can often forget; this is my musical reflection on the Arctic.”- Ludovico Einaudi

7th May

Alessia Cara

Canadian singer/songwriter, Alessia Cara, sings this song for Moana- an acclaimed animated feature from Disney about a young Polynesian girl on a mission to bring back a precious gem with the goddess Te Fiti.  This song dives into personal growth, discovery and an identity shaped by water. Moana’s name means large body of water in Maori, a Polynesian language.  Moana's family and community represent Indigenous peoples who call the island home. The film and song give awareness to Indigenous communities who are increasingly vulnerable to rising sea levels and more destructive storms. Climate change doesn’t just threaten their homes, it threatens their cultures, which are built around these places. 

29th April

The Recycled Orchestra

In the city of Asuncion, which is the capital of South American country Paraguay, lies the country’s largest landfill site- Cateura. An estimated 500 gancheros (recyclers) work at Cateura, where 1.5 tonnes of rubbish are deposited daily, separating plastic and aluminium that they sell on for as little as 15p a bag.  Among the mounds of refuse, however, are a lot of materials that could (in the hands of a very clever and intuitive person!) be recycled into musical instruments- materials such as used oven trays, wooden pallets, metal cutlery and utensils, paint pots etc. Cast aside by the 2 million residents of Asuncion, they are highly valued by Nicolás Gómez, who picks them out to make violins, guitars and cellos.  Gómez, 48, was a carpenter and ganchero but now works for Favio Chávez, the conductor of Paraguay's one and only landfill orchestra.

The Cateura Orchestra of Recycled Instruments is made up of 30 schoolchildren – the sons and daughters of recyclers – whose instruments are forged from the city's rubbish. And while its members learned to play amid the flies and stench of Cateura, they are now receiving worldwide acclaim, including a recent concert in Amsterdam that included Pachelbel's Canon.

Favio Chavez recognised the need for the poverty stricken children of Asuncion to learn music- something he thought would being them mental wellbeing and broaden their horizons.  However, a violin costs more than a house to the families who live in the slums, and therefore would never be able to afford the luxury of a traditionally made instrument.  The incredible recycling skills of  Nicolás Gómez meant that so much of the rubbish that would have otherwise clogged up the landfill site was put to extremely good use and made into musical instruments.  Incredibly, they sound great too- considering what they’re made of!

22nd April

Joni Mitchell

“Big Yellow Taxi” by Canadian- American singer/song writer Joni Mitchell is an environmentalist anthem which criticises the destruction of our planet. The line “Don’t it always seem to go, That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone” makes us stop and think about the way we treat our planet before it’s too late.

“I wrote ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ on my first trip to Hawaii,” Mitchell explained in 1996. “I took a taxi to the hotel and when I woke up the next morning, I threw back the curtains and saw these beautiful green mountains in the distance. Then, I looked down and there was a parking lot as far as the eye could see, and it broke my heart… this blight on paradise. That’s when I sat down and wrote the song.” 

This is a perfect song for us to listen to on 'Earth Day 2024'.  Earth Day is marked on 22 April each year. The first Earth Day was held in the USA in 1970, in response to a spill from an oil tanker. It has since grown to become and global event, during which as many as 1 billion people around the world mark the need for action on the environment and living sustainably.  It helps to raise awareness of the need to protect Earth's natural resources for future generations and allows us time to consider our contribution to this. 

15th April

Hans Zimmer

Today most people first hear orchestral music in the cinema or online – and perhaps more than any other composer, trailblazer Hans Zimmer has helped to shape the sound of today’s film, TV and games music. He has written the music for over 150 films including The Lion King, Madagascar, The Simpsons Movie, Kung Fu Panda and TV series like Blue Planet II.  Using driving rhythms, hypnotic chord patterns and electronic samples he has created unique and powerful soundtracks that have influenced a whole generation of musicians.   

Hans Zimmer composed Earth especially for BBC Ten Pieces - a collection of classical music (there are in fact 40 pieces!) which have been selected to inspire and educate young musicians, broadening their cultural capital and introducing them to music they might not have otherwise listened to.  This piece is his personal celebration of the planet we live on and the perfect piece to start off our Summer Term, where our focus is on caring for the environment.  In this piece, Hans captures the majesty and beauty of our home, as if seen from space. 

This piece has been written for live performance and Mrs Harper will be teaching it to some of our instrumentalists this term.  Hans set every child a challenge when he wrote this piece - to take his piece and create something new from it.  In his own words: "The piece of music I've written is just the beginning of the sentence.  I want you guys to finish it!"