I wrote a song about the BP oil spill disaster called GIVE US BACK, in June 2010, which was about three weeks after the oil rig exploded. The oil was spewing out into the Gulf of Mexico while repeated attempts to cap the well failed. My song expressed the shock, anger, frustration, and sadness I was feeling over the heart-breaking event taking place in the Gulf, affecting so many and so much. Naturally, I assumed that an event this tragic and horrific would live on in the collective memory of us all, young and old. However, this was only an assumption on my part until it was reinforced when I was recently contacted by an 8th grade student named Corey from the Brandywine Springs School in Wilmington, Deleware. He was inquiring about my song because of a school assigment he was asked to research and write. Here is what Corey wrote to me:
“Dear Ms. Robertson,
I am in 8th grade and my project is to find a song that was
written about an event in history during my life time. I chose
this song because I love animals and was saddend when this
tragic event happened. And thanks again for your time.
I wrote back to Corey letting him know I would be honored if he used my song for his report. He wrote back several months later letting me know that he’d gotten an “A” and thanking me and sharing a copy of his report with me. I love the report, of course, but even more than that, I am impressed with the fact that this event will live on through this younger generation, possibly helping to prevent another such disaster. I am proud of Corey, and asked for his permission to share his report, which he was happy to give to me. Thank you, Corey! Keep up the good work and also your interest and compassion in what is happening in the environment and in the world around you.
Sharen Wendy Robertson (c) 2010
Decemeber 16, 2011
Give Us Back lyrics written in 2010
Songwriter Sharen Wendy Robertson
Hey BP, what do you know,
You’re making lots of money
You’re making lots of dough.
But when the oil started spewing,
The flames reached the sky,
All the money in the world,
Could not ease their desperate cry.
Give us back, Our ocean’s blue,
Taken away, From me and you.
Give us back, The salty air,
Without the smell, now, Of oil and tears.
Was it worth it, BP,
Was your profit worth the cost,
You didn’t have a plan in place,
Protecting what we’ve lost!
The men who died, the wildlife,
the habitat and more,
The livelihood of fishermen,
Our beaches and our shores.
Give us back, our ocean’s blue,
Taken away, from me and you.
Give us back, the salty air,
Without the smell, now,
Of oil and tears.
Sharen Wendy Robertson recently decided to write and sing music after the death of her son in 2008. She grew up in Boston MA and currently lives in Cape Cod. She has had many jobs like: “a middle school teacher, construction business, worked as a reporter for local newspapers, operated a home day care, was a waitress, a bookkeeper, founded a non-profit literacy program for children called The Story Train, created and hosted cable television show for children, volunteered endlessly at her children’s schools, received her BA at age 39 and her master’s degree in education from Harvard at age 40.”
This song was written about the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. This tragic event happened in 2010 when the BP oil rig exploded. This caused a ton of oil to flow into the Gulf of Mexico. Because of the oil spill over 1,000 animals died and many ecosystems became messed up. This was the largest oil spill in American history. Some workers lost their lives when the oil rig exploded. Many people were angry at BP for letting this event happen and many people helped volunteer to clean up beaches, birds, and other ecosystems harmed by the spill.
I feel this song fits the criteria because it is talking about a major social event in history. This song project asks for a song that expresses the writer’s emotions toward the historical event and I believe my song does that. Also my song was written during my life time. I think this song fit the criteria perfectly.
I emailed Sharen Wendy Robertson these questions and here is what she wrote back. 1) What the lyricist said he/she hoped to accomplish or what you thought they accomplished? The only thing I wanted to accomplish when I wrote this song was to express my anger, frustration, and sadness over the oil spill and let it be known to BP. I remember when the oil rig exploded, and then the oil started spilling into the Gulf of Mexico and the scientists kept saying they were just about to have it fixed and yet another day would go by and more of what we loved was destroyed. So, about three weeks into the oil spill while out taking my walk along the ocean on Cape Cod, I stopped at a little coffee shop and started writing, I wrote the whole song in about 20 minutes on a paper napkin (I still have the napkin). I just wanted to express myself in the song. 2) Why you like this song? I really liked the song because I feel like I accomplished what I wanted to do, which was to express the depth of my anger, frustration, and sadness. 3) What does it say to you? The song tells me that we all share in the sadness, anger and frustration. The name of the song, Give Us Back, means that their (BP) neglect took something away from us, something they had no right to take. We should all feel violated, and want to say to them, “Hey, how dare you take all the beauty from the ocean. How dare you take something you can not give back.” 4) What do you want others to take away from this song? I just want others to remember how sad this whole event was. I want those in charge to understand that they took something away that did not belong to them. It belonged to all of us.
One historical event that happened the same year as the BP oil spill was the Haiti earthquake. It was a 7.0 magnitude earthquake and killed nearly 200,000 people. It also destroyed many homes and left 2,000,000 people homeless and even more in need of medical attention. This tragic event happened on January, 12, 2010. Haiti is a very small and poor country. It is around the size of Maryland and has a population of around 9 million people. Haiti’s capital is port-au-prince and the earthquake destroyed most of that city.
In conclusion I feel that this song fits the song project criteria very well. And that this song was written to share the sadness and anger of the BP oil spill. Sharen wendy Robertson was very angry with BP and she wrote this song to tell them that. Also that the BP oil spill was a tragic event that happened in 2010 and ruined many ecosystems killing many animals.
Site: Reverbnation.com Date: 11-22-11 Information gathered: lyrics
Site: Sharenwendy.com Date: 11-28-11 Information gathered: biography
Site: luxecoliving.com Date: 11-29-11 Information gathered: BP oil spill information
Site: Dosomething.org Date: 11-29-11 Information gathered: BP oil spill facts
Site: Hubpages.com Date: 12-6-11 Information gathered: Hati earthquake facts
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