Nine Raging Grannies including yours truly got together to sing about the environment on Xmas night. We were invited by Ken Gale, one of the hosts of the Eco-Logic radio show on WBAI at 99.5 FM, which airs Tuesday nights from 8 to 9 pm. Eco-Logic is WBAI’ s environmental program, featuring discussions, interviews and action alerts on diverse ecological concerns. The show covers air, water, soil, wildlife, environmental justice and energy issues from local, national and global perspectives. To lighten the mood Ken often invites musicians on to the show, and the Raging Grannies are one of his favorite groups! Our songs were interspersed between readings of the latest environmental news.

Although the Grannies are known for our often outrageous costumes [some might say “ridiculous get-up”], obviously radio is hardly the ideal venue for getting our message out in that way. So we had to rely on our vocal talent, such as it may be, and the wit, unvarnished truth, emotional insight, and inspirational nature of our songs [whether they inspire boredom or empathy, hope or despair is, I suppose, in the ear of the beholder]. We sang about fracking, Occupy Wall Street and the banksters who took down the economy, and how to be a Radical Environmentalist. We sang about the wonders of and dangers to humpback whales, about the joys of recycling, and some good health advice for the future. News of the latest and greatest “Free” Trade Deal, and what it will cost us all, was on the list. The One Percent sang its mind on climate change. Some of the songs were based on traditional Xmas carols, and two were adapted by your humble narrator. A totally unscientific survey of one listener revealed that we sounded like we were focused and working well together for a purpose, which was clearly to advocate for environmental justice.

I have a few favorite things in this world: my family, our Ethical Culture Society, a small number of my students over the years, WBAIFM radio, and the Raging Grannies. This event combined two of them. I am delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in it, and very grateful to be able to share it with all of you. Anyone who is interested in learning more about the Grannies is encouraged and welcome to contact me.

- Nora Freeman