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