This post is by member Annie Lynn of AnnieBirdd Music.
“Will YOU be observing Earth Hour this year, and what the heck is Earth Hour anyway?” It is a question I hear asked more and more every year and it makes my heart swell.
According to Wikipedia and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet, organized by the World Wildlife Fund. The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, households, and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 towards the end of March each year, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.”
I first became aware of Earth Hour in early 2009, while volunteering as an assistant music teacher in my local school district. Our district decided to participate, and encouraged students to observe with our families at home on the designated night. The day of Earth Hour, all I could think was “Why is this only happening one night a year? People participate, and then mostly go back to forgetting about energy conservation. Why aren’t we doing this EVERY Saturday night?” By late afternoon, the song “It’s Earth Hour” had pretty much written itself. I grabbed my son Alex, and his cousin Andrew, and taught them the song quickly. We recorded it, during Earth Hour, in complete darkness except for the glow of the fireplace and our carbon-neutral beeswax candles. I then uploaded my first official video to Youtube, and within three hours of uploading, we had over 500 hits. That was when I realized that this was a big deal to many people around the world.
The following year, our school district performed this song, shedding light (or actually darkness, lol) on Earth Hour. It wasn’t until 2015 that I made a formal music video for this song, as well as included it on our educational CD “No Time for Hate and Other Songs for Schools.” This first formal Earth Hour video ended up getting over 1,200 hits within its first few days. Looking at analytics, I was horrified to find the the USA was around 11th in viewership.
In 2016, after updating the video with the appropriate date and corporate participants, we noticed that eight weeks prior to Earth Hour, viewers were watching the new video we HAD NOT promoted yet, as well as the 2015 original. You could feel it, the World was gearing up for Earth Day, and the WWF ramped up its campaign on social media. They even re-posted our music video in nine countries and I got a thank you note from Maldives, which I have to confess I had to look up on a map to definitively know where it was. By the time Earth Hour 2016 had been observed, over 2.5K people from 175 countries around the world had viewed the videos.
One observation made since 2009, based on analytics, is that the USA is trying more and more, every year, to get on board with Earth Hour and educate as many people as possible. And yet, we are still behind other countries in participation. The biggest viewership comes from Philippines, Australia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Brazil and then USA. Now it is up to all of us to pick up and carry the big green ball and run with it, asking everyone we meet “Are YOU participating in Earth Hour?”
My writing partner and producer, Chris Arms, and I have decided to make this song available for free to the public, with the hope that teachers will especially use it. I heartily suggest that all who can play this on guitar themselves, transpose it. It is basically, for the most part, 1-4-5-1. If you want to use the instrumental track (karaoke) that goes with it, you are stuck in E.
There are some cute photos of the recording session on my website listed under “In the studio with the kids.”
I hope you all participate in Earth Hour and spread the word to as many Earthlings as you can. Click here for more info on Earth Hour. And remember to buy your beeswax candles! I got what I needed using my smile.amazon.com account, which benefits CMN. If you order through Amazon, you will be helping the Earth AND CMN…not bad for a day’s work, eh?
PEACE, Annie Lynn, AnnieBirdd Music LLC