When the Oil Runs Out

by helenzuman in General

I wrote this song in 2006, after completing my Permaculture Design Course at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center in Occidental, California (and Bill McKibben’s The End of Nature). When I sand it last week at the NYC Permaculture Festival, some listeners requested a recording. Here it is, with lyrics:


Oil runs down from Alaska / Oil runs up from the coast / Oil runs in from the desert / Oil runs out / What’ll we do / When the oil runs out?

We’ve been throwing a party / For two hundred years / In a house that we borrowed / We drank all the beer / And we raided the pantry / And we wrecked every room / And oh my god our mother / Is about to come home / What’ll we do / When our mother comes home?

Oil runs down from Alaska….

We can run for the hedges / Hide in the swamp / Claim we didn’t do it / Fall down drunk / Or sleep till we’re sober / And rise in the morn / To the task of repairing / What we haven’t destroyed / What’ll we do / To repair these rooms?

Oil runs down from Alaska….

We’ll plant trees in the bedrooms / We’ll hold hands on the hearth / We’ll leave logs for the lizards / Where the cars were parked / We’ll use the empty barrels / For catching the rain / And we’ll make this place a garden again / Yes, in this ruined mansion we will garden again

If you liked this post, you’ll love my memoir, Mating in Captivity, in which my twenty-two-year old self enters a cult with a radical take on sex and relationships. Learn more here.

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