Eco-communities as a social vision

Eco-communities as a social vision
Egalitarian and ecological communities, like the pictured East Wind (, are very close to our vision of an ecological society

20 September, 2007

Wooden Ships - Crosby, Stills & Nash - 1969

Stills: If you smile at me, I will understand
'Cause that is something everybody everywhere does
in the same language.
Crosby: I can see by your coat, my friend,
you're from the other side,
There's just one thing I got to know,
Can you tell me please, who won?
Stills: Say, can I have some of your purple berries?
Crosby: Yes, I've been eating them for six or seven weeks now,
haven't got sick once.
Stills: Probably keep us both alive.

Wooden ships on the water, very free and easy,
Easy, you know the way it's supposed to be,
Silver people on the shoreline, let us be,
Talkin' 'bout very free and easy...
Horror grips us as we watch you die,
All we can do is echo your anguished cries,
Stare as all human feelings die,
We are leaving - you don't need us.

Go, take your sister then, by the hand,
lead her away from this foreign land,
Far away, where we might laugh again,
We are leaving - you don't need us.

And it's a fair wind, blowin' warm,
Out of the south over my shoulder,
Guess I'll set a course and go...

Generally, we try to publish songs according to the year of their publication (starting from 1963 and Dylan's A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall ). However, since this blog is in fact an ongoing research, songs that we weren't aware of surface occasionally (something that will increase in frecuency in the future). It is a fact that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and (later) Young were in the heart of hippie movement or more precisely "have a strong association with the segment of 1960s counterculture known as the Woodstock Nation", according to wikipedia. They are known for their activist politics and we believe that there is a strong "green" component in that. One piece of evidence is the present song.

Again in wikipedia, we read that
Wooden Ships was written at the height of the Vietnam War, a time of great tension between the United States and the Soviet Union, nuclear-armed rivals in the Cold War. It was one of the few songs of that era that openly dealt with the ever-present fears of an apocalyptic nuclear war (preceeded by Tom Lehrer's "We Will All Go Together When We Go", and "Eve of Destruction", sung by Barry McGuire).

The song poignantly depicts the horrors confronting the survivors of a nuclear holocaust, where presumably two sides have virtually annihilated each other (and everyone else). One man from each side stumbles upon the other, and they reflect on the pointlessness of the conflict.

However, there are also other opinions that can be found here.

In fact, the song was written by David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Paul Kantner (of Jefferson Airplane fame). However, Kantner could not be credited on the original release of Crosby, Stills & Nash due to legal issues. The song was also released by Jefferson Airplane the same year on the album "Volunteers" (with which we will deal within the next week). Both versions are considered to be original versions of the song, although they differ slightly in wording and melody.

CSNY were members of the Laurel Canyon community (see our comments on Mayall's "Nature's disappearing"), an L.A. neighborhood with distinctive bohemian spirit. They will continue to publish songs with environmental themes, solo or in various combinations. Neil Young is active in such matters still today. But this is the subject of a prospect post.

you can hear this song in youtube:

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