Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

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I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

3 Dec 2015

The most beautiful song about Transition yet created?

I’m now over half way through my time here in Paris, and it is pretty hectic really.  It can feel like being pulled in many different directions and really quite intense and tiring sometimes.  It is useful then, in such moments, to reconnect with what it is that we in Transition are doing, and why we do it.  I have written before about the brilliant musical about Transition that is currently being created, ‘Something Wonderful In My Back Yard’ which is a musical that follows a community through the process of creating Transition in their town. 

If the recent run through of songs that I attended is anything to go by, it is going really well and is going to be remarkable.  They are currently running a crowdfunding appeal to take it to the next stage, please help them, there are just 13 days to go.  

I am often told by people that they have written a song about Transition, and they tend to be universally dire, 30 song dirges about birds and bees and things.  For some time I have been on the lookout for a song that somehow captures the essence of what it is that we do, a kind of (inter)national anthem for Transition.  As part of SWIMBY, lyricist Matt Harvey, composer Thomas Hewitt-Jones and producer Chloe Uden have created a song called ‘In Our Own Back Yard’ which is as close to that as I have yet found, and which, as I dash around Paris from event to event, is proving a powerful touchstone, somewhere to connect back to why I’m here, why we do this stuff, and why it matters.  Here is the song, sung at that Early Material Show I recently attended by Hannah Waterfield, and the lyrics are posted below.  Enjoy.

In our own back yard


in our own back yard

something that we can all be proud of

that we have made with our own hands

[ hmmm] something real, something good


here in our home town

something that we can be proud of


right here where we live

here where we live and love and argue

here where we never thought we could

we have made something good


we can all walk tall

hold our heads high as we want to


we can all walk tall

walk just as tall as anyone