Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby, I've got the BP oil-spill blues

Last gasp: irony, thy name is Minnesota BP statue.

Let's go surfing now, everybody's learning how, come on...ugh - I've got oily crap all over my surfboard!

Is there a story on the news this summer more depressing and frustrating than the BP oil spill?

I'll give you a pass if you said, "Mel Gibson," but I knew it wasn't just me when Brian Williams recently previewed the NBC Nightly News by saying, "What BP is now saying about the oil spill - but who believes them?!"

Not me. So, I know that when USA Today's headline said "Leak fixed" on its website today, it wasn't talking about the leak in the ocean with oil gushing out of it, but "the leak on the new cap" that was supposed to fix the leak in the ocean with oil gushing out of it.

Way to go USA Today! Way to go BP! Way to go stupid leaks!

Your summer BP oil-spill playlist!

I'm so sick of it all, I'd sooner listen to a songwriter's take on the problem as anyone's: Thad Allen, Robo Dick Cheney, and Kevin Costner's less good-looking brother, Dan among them.

I might be onto something.

No one has come up with a solution to the spill, but Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded Oil Well Blues in 1929, along with the line: "It ain't nothin', mama, don't be scared at all - there's a long-distant well and it's blowin' in oil that's all."

So, a blind blues singer saw this coming 80 years ago and BP couldn't?

Here it is - the BP oil-spill playlist. Links open in YouTube:

1. 10,000 Maniacs - Poison in the Well

Key lyrics:
"There's been a small spill, and all that it amounts to is a tear in a salty sea
Someone's been a bit untidy - they'll have it cleaned up in a week
But the week is over, and now it's turning into years..."
2. Mighty Mighty Bosstones - Royal Oil

Key lyrics:
"Royal oil, big trouble brewing
Long, lonely road, long road to ruin
Wrong path to take, great big mistake"

3. Graham Parker - Slash and Burn

Key lyrics:
"They burned the mighty rain forest the howler monkeys screamed
They turned it into burgers for the monkeys on the street
The paths were forged with promise hung up like jewels and gold
While Atlas the Adonis was holding up the globe"
4. Laurie Anderson - Only an Expert

Key lyrics:
"So if there’s no expert dealing with the problem
It’s really actually twice the problem
Cause only an expert can deal with the problem"
5. Steve Forbert - The Oil Song

Key lyrics:
"And it’s oil
Creepin’ in the sea
Don’t buy it at the station
You can get it now for free
Just come on down to the shoreline
Where the water used to be"
6. Midnight Oil - Warakurna

Key lyrics:
"Some people laugh, some never learn
this land must change or land must burn"
7. Moxy Fruvous - The Gulf War Song

Key lyrics:
"Fighters for Texaco, fighters for power
Fighters for longer turns in the shower"
8. Blind Lemon Jefferson - Oil Well Blues

Key lyrics:
"It ain't nothin', mama, don't be scared at all.
There's a long-distant well and it's blowin' in oil that's all."
9. Incubus - Oil and Water

Key lyrics:
"You and I are like oil and water
And we've been trying, trying, trying
Ohhhhhhh... to mix it up."
10. Kathleen Edwards - Oil Man's War

Key lyrics:
"When we get up north, we'll buy us a store
I won't fight an oil man's war."


  1. Yay for Kathleen Edwards! And woo for Midnight Oil!

    You didn't happen to see them when The Hip brought them along for their cross-country travelling roadshow in the early 90s I think, did you?

  2. I saw Midnight Oil every time they came to town, once in Calgary, and once in NY. What an incredible live band!

  3. I've enjoyed that Steve Forbert song for many years. Too bad the song, like all the others you list, is so topical right now.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.