www.danalyons.com & www.janegoodall.org
A delightful collection of stories told by Dr. Jane Goodall and songs written and sung by environmental troubador Dana Lyons. The title track "Circle the World" was inspired by Dr. Goodall's campaign for folks all over the world to carry giant peace dove puppets on September 21, the United Nations World Peace Day. Dr. Goodall's stories include tales of a man risking his life to save a drowning chimpanzee; Dr. Goodall's interaction with chimpanzee David Greybeard when she offered him some fruit; and the story of how she was made a United Nations messenger of peace and the origination of the giant peace dove puppet parades. Dana Lyons' songs celebrate the wonderful and lovely creatures with which we share this beautiful planet.
How "Circle the World" came to be (in Dana's words):
It all began when I was listening to Dr. Goodall give a talk in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was speaking about the United Nations World Peace Day on September 21st. She had never heard of it until United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan made her a UN Messenger of Peace. She realized that for September 21st to become a known holiday, we would need to come up with a giant global celebration.
For the last four years Dr. Goodall has rallied people all over the world to build giant peace dove puppets with twenty foot wing spans and parade them on World Peace Day. This past year over 3500 peace doves flew in over 35 countries. They are made of old bed sheets and chicken wire, materials largely available even in the poorest countries.
I was really impressed when Dr. Goodall said "One day, there will be so many people marching all over the world with peace dove puppets that you'll be able to see them from outerspace via satelite." Wow. The largest celebration in human history. Puppets, drums, singing, food, music, dancing. When do we start? Every September 21st.
Later that evening I told Dr. Goodall how cool an idea I thought it was and she asked me if I would write a song about it.
When Dr. Goodall heard "Circle the World," she invited me to sing it during her lecture at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. The next day we decided to put together a CD, a mix of my songs and her stories.
I love the idea that year by year, more and more people around the world will carry peace dove puppets in a celebration of peace. First thousands, then tens of thousands, then hundreds of thousands, then millions. World peace is an idealistic concept. But when you think about it, we have to acheive it. Our survival depends upon it. I believe that while things will most likely get worse for a while, at some point we will turn. At some point we will evolve into a culture that lives simply, a culture that respects all peoples and creatures of the Earth. It may be a long time from now. Maybe 20 years. Maybe 53 years. Maybe 341 years. But some day our children or our children's children will get their act together and say "enough".
And, what a wonderful thing to do every year . . . Pull out the peace dove puppets, stored next to the other holiday decorations, and go out and celebrate our dream of peace with our families and neighbors and all the world.
As I write this message, a coyote walks through my front yard. Haven't seen one in a year. A good sign.
For instructions on how to construct a peace dove go to Dr. Jane Goodall's webpage: http://janegoodall.org/peace-day/index.asp
About Jane Goodall:
Dr. Jane Goodall is the world's foremost authority on chimpanzees, having closely observed their behavior for the past quarter century in the jungles of the Gombe Game Reserve in Africa, living in the chimps' environment and gaining their confidence. It is hard to overstate the degree to which Dr. Goodall changed and enriched the field of primatology.
In 1977, Jane founded the Jane Goodall Institute for Wildlife Research, Education and Conservation to provide ongoing support for field research on wild chimpanzees. Today, the mission of the Jane Goodall Institute is to advance the power of individuals to take informed and compassionate action to improve the environment for all living things. The Institute is a leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats and is widely recognized for establishing innovative community-centered conservation and development programs in Africa and the Roots & Shoots education program in more than 70 countries.
Jane has an extensive list of publications, honorary degrees and honors, including being named a United Nations "Messenger of Peace" by Secretary-General Annan in 2002.
Today, Jane spends most of her time traveling around the world, lecturing on her experiences at Gombe, speaking to school groups about Roots & Shoots, sharing her message of hope for the future, and encouraging young people to make a difference in their world.
About Dana Lyons:
Dana Lyons is the singer/songwriter best known for his dynamic performances and outrageous hit songs "Cows With Guns," "RV" and "Ride The Lawn." A global radio and web hit, "Cows With Guns" was #1 for the year on Dr. Demento, #2 on the Australian Country charts, #1 in Seattle and spent six months on the Irish Top 40.
Bringing together a mix of comedy, ballads and love songs, Dana's sharp wit and beautiful voice have him performing at concert halls, festivals, conventions, fundraisers and universities across the US and around the world. Dana's music style includes a bit of everything; his biggest radio hit, "Cows With Guns," receives crossover radio play on country, rock, alternative, community, college and oldies radio stations worldwide. He has seven releases to date.
Dana has toured in 46 of the 50 American states, around the East Coast of Australia and across Ireland, England, New Zealand, Kazahkstan and Siberia. His policy of "I'll play anywhere once" has landed Dana gigs on a tropical island in the Great Barrier reef of Australia, the Harley Davidson Festival in Sturgis, South Dakota, an Irish Pub in Beijing and the Hanford Nuclear Waste Dump in his home state of Washington.
Two of Dana's songs have been made into award-winning illustrated books: Cows With Guns, published by Penguin (winner of the Bullitzer Prize), and The Tree, published by Illumination Arts. The Tree was endorsed by Dr. Jane Goodall, has forwards by Pete Seeger and Julia Butterfly Hill and has won numerous awards.
Dana's comedy stretches back to 1986 when thirteen co-sponsors from the Washington State Legislature introduced a bill to make his song "Our State is a Dumpsite" the official Washington State Song. Sadly, the bill was struck down in the rules committee, but later the Legislature placed "Our State is a Dumpsite" in Washington State's official centennial songbook, Washington's Songs and Lore, recognizing it as one of the 75 most important songs in Washington State history.
"Dumpsite" also appeared in the soundtrack to Robert Redford's movie documentary The WIPP Trail. His songs have also appeared in other movie and television documentaries, including "Drop of Water" in the Canadian film documentary No Surrender and "June is a Comin'" in the TV documentary Fishing Families.
Dana's songs have been re-recorded by many artists, but perhaps his highest honor as a songwriter came when Pete Seeger called him to get the music for Dana's song "I am an Animal." Dana has shared the stage with many notable performers including Stephen Stills, River Phoenix, Nickel Creek, Country Joe McDonald, Utah Phillips & John Trudell.
Dana was born in Kingston, New York. He graduated from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. He lives in a nice garage in Bellingham, Washington, with his cat Oliver. His astrological sign is Taurus.