Where Have All The Flowers Gone – Rap Version

This song was inspired by an article I read in hospital whilst recovering from a gamma knife operation for an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) on my brain.
I was also influenced to write this by a ten-year-old pupil, Molly, who showed such passion for the climate that I felt compelled to add my contribution to the equation. Please add this new line

My recovery walks in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside made me sad to think that one day we could be asking Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

“Over the past two decades bee declines worldwide have drawn international attention.
Managed honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies decreased by 25% over 20 years in Europe and 59% over 58 years in North America, and many bumble bee populations in Europe and North America have gone locally extinct, resulting in dramatic range contractions.

This mutualistic relationship is responsible for over $200 billion worth of food products and the reproductive success of more than 85% of flowering plants.

The complex nature of bee declines poses a significant conservation challenge. In order to save the ‘disappearing’ bees, we must determine which taxa are threatened, which threats are most imminent, and how to address them. When the solutions to conservation issues are relatively simple, such as in the cases of ozone-depletion and eggshell-thinning chemicals, concerted efforts can quickly rally public and political support to protect important natural resources. While there are certainly actions we can take to conserve bee populations, they will need to be both concerted and multifaceted.”

Extract taken from:
‘Where have all the flowers gone: complexity & worldwide bee declines by Dr Nicole Miller-Struttmann’

Life

A mixture of pleasure and strife

At times, it could be sharp and perilous like a knife

Or a wonderland where festivity and bliss is also rife

Where all we want is to keep on living

And living in the aura that life is giving

We all hold onto life like the leaves on a tree

Being of mutual value like flower and bee

The beauty they parade is so wondrous to see

Wow! What beautiful sights life gives for free

While the flowers depend on every little bee

To spread love when they all pollinate

The bees receive nectar in good faith and fate

And from it, the sweet honey we love they create

But wait…

Can you not hear the bees buzz and say almost every day?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

 

With the flowers perishing and going away,

So do the bees, with every passing day

Since there remains little or no food to make them stay

We cannot blame them as they now all tend to stray

When at will, we cut down patches of flowers everyday

To build more roads, more houses and churches where we pray

And without giving it a thought for one or two hours

We disconnect the bees from their food as we grow ours

Unleashing neonicotinoids on the growing plants and flowers

Some bees can bear it, but every one of the others cowers

The pesticides must have changed the sweets in their pollen to sours

Adulterated it with the poison that makes them lose their powers

How about the climate change that instigates the share of unfriendly parasites?

Threatening the bees’ existence to force them out of sight

And in my mind when I sleep at night

I hear them say

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Unbloom. Unbloom

Queen like the jewel

tarnished ring

or still-life—static, on her back. A marriage ends

Again and again it’s so dramatic

The flower-girls come home empty handed,

(Where have all the flowers gone?)

something blue

their hive broken open

like an egg, bodies

frayed, wire legs broken

in the pale and barren sun.

Was this June?

No honeysuckle, lavender, no hum. No powder. No

purples left to brush their wings against: every cell

in the comb now a vacant hexagon of ash, children born

into gardens with the colours leaching out

And everybody keeps on reaching out

Asking the same question

Where have all the flowers gone?

What paint will we use

When those who made it

fall away? Flight seared

by the chemicals we sprayed

for sake of growth, but what growth in the after-Eden, after-bustle grey, how long

before the curtains draw away and nothing but our peat

Unbloom

And we ask again the same question

Where have all the flowers gone?

In your empty rooms

in this stagnant air

when you’re asking ‘cause now you care

where the flowers went, you better know this

You better open your heart, listen and focus

when a honey-maker stings

she’s a martyr, torn in two

It’s time to be smart

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

Where are our flowers? Where have all the flowers gone?

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