Australian music icon John Williamson is back with a new song, The Voice of the Sea, to highlight the plight of our oceans and marine life – and schools across the country are rehearsing the song for their end-of-year concerts.
Mr Williamson is launching the song nationally today, backed by the choir of Glenmore Road Public School in Sydney.
Musician and conservationist John Williamson has sold more than 5 million albums and a billion streams in a career spanning 52 years. He has won 27 Golden Guitar awards and three ARIA music awards, and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.
Williamson’s hit True Blue has become an alternative national anthem while Rip Rip Woodchip became a soundtrack to logging protests. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia ‘for service to Australian country music and in stimulating awareness of conservation issues’.
Mr Williamson wrote The Voice of the Sea for the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), which has been campaigning to protect the Great Barrier Reef and our precious oceans since 1965.
‘I was approached by the Australian Marine Conservation Society to help with a song to send a message encouraging Aussies to think about reversing the damage to our ocean life,’ said Mr Williamson.
‘I responded immediately and, as I was working on a love song at the time, I could see how it would fit in the context of “loving the sea”. I began to write as the “voice” of the sea. I am deeply concerned with the survival of all nature’s species and very proud to be involved.’
Love for the oceans
‘My affinity with the ocean is as strong as my connection to and love for the bush,’ said Mr Williamson. ‘When I sat down to write about our love for the oceans, I couldn’t help but think about all the problems we’ve caused our seas and their wildlife, even though we say we love them.
‘Aussies love our oceans but how have we shown that love? By taking and not giving. So the song became an unrequited love song – where has it gone, your love for me?
‘My lyrics reference global warming, overfishing and the risk of losing some of our incredible marine wildlife. It’s not too late but we need more people to sing out and be the voices of our seas,’ he said.
‘That’s why I wanted to support the AMCS with this song because they provide Australians with a way to speak out for our seas through their important conservation work.’
A call for ocean protection
AMCS CEO Darren Kindleysides said, ‘AMCS has been the voice for our oceans since 1965 and we’re deeply grateful to John Williamson for lending us his iconic voice to remind Australians that our ocean and its bounty are not infinite resources for us to plunder.
‘The Voice of the Sea is a beautiful, heartfelt anthem for our oceans. It strikes a chord with Australians, highlighting our deep connection to our big blue backyard. But it’s more than a song, it’s a rallying cry,’ he said.
‘Our oceans and their wildlife face more threats today than ever before and we need all Australians to use their voices to speak out for them.
‘The most significant conservation victories in history have resulted from people power – the combined voices of individuals for a common cause.’
School music packs available online to join nationwide singalong
‘What better way to galvanise the nation than engaging the country’s most compelling voices of the future – our children,’ said Mr Kindleysides.
‘We have sent free music packs, containing the song, lyrics and even dance moves to schools around the country so they can learn and perform the song at their end-of-year concerts.
‘The aim is to inspire the next generation of ocean protectors and through them their parents, teachers and communities, so that we can stand together and change the way we treat our oceans to take better care of them and their wildlife,’ he said.
‘We extend our deepest gratitude to John Williamson and Warner Music Australia for the song, and to Innocean, Andrea Innocent, Dropbear, Oliver Lawrance and Photoplay/Playtime for bringing the song to life through the beautiful animated video and school choir project.’
See the video for the new song below: