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-Stage 5.3-

 

Geology Through The Radio

 

Where popular music is used to help explain geological concepts.

 

Geology Through The Radio

 

       As I was sitting and listening to the radio one day, a song captured my attention as containing some interesting geological concepts, Horse With No Name by America. So I figure I would do like I have done for literature and make a creative exercise based on this. And we will see to how far this expands.

 

Available Geology Reviews

Brad Paisley's Geology

Bastille's Pompeii

Jimmy Buffett's Volcano

America's Horse with No Name


Brad Paisley's Geology

 

Although, likely played as a joke, here is Brad Paisley's country song named Geology from the never released album - Your Substrata Makes My Lava Flow.

 

 

I love the geology background that is given for Tennessee in the song. Here are the lyrics:

 

Way back in the distant past,
500 million years or greater.
Tennessee was a tectonic plate,
Under the ocean, near the equator.
And a few million years the plates began,
A steady northern migration.
Volcanoes blew, and the earth arose to,
Form the Appalachians.

 

The range of mountains began to form,
400 million years ago.
And sandstone formation came along,
on the Cumberland Plateau.
The Paleozoic and the Mesozoic,
built the hills just like a mesa.
In the Cenozoic era,
appeared the Nashville basin.

 

Beneath the limestone, sandstone, and shale,
The Earth moved as it must.
And form the Blue Ridge Mountains,
By sub-horizontal thrust.
Here on plutonic igneous rocks
On a Precambrian promontory.
That is where I first met you,
Which is a whole other story.

 

Geology, geology.
That’s how God made Tennessee.
And Tennessee is where I found a girl,
Whose feet are on the ground.
Whose substrata make the lava flow,
And that is all you need to know.


Bastille's Pompeii

Listening to the radio the other day this song caught my ear. Little did I realize what the title of the song was (Pompeii by Bastille). Then actually listening to the lyrics, I realized that that was what the song was actually about (not some fancy title that has nothing to do with the song what-so-ever).

 

 

I was left to my own devi-i-i-i-ces

Many days fell away with nothing to show

 

And the walls kept tumbling down

In the city that we love

Gray clouds roll over the hills

Bringing darkness from above

 

But if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

Nothing changed at all?

And if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

You've been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

 

We were caught up and lost in all of our vices

In your pose as the dust settled around us

 

And the walls kept tumbling down

In the city that we love

Gray clouds roll over the hills

Bringing darkness from above

 

But if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

Nothing changed at all?

And if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

You've been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

 

Oh where do we begin?

The rubble or our sins?

Oh oh where do we begin?

The rubble or our sins?

 

And the walls kept tumbling down (oh where do we begin?)

In the city that we love (the rubble or our sins?)

Gray clouds roll over the hills (oh where do we begin?)

Bringing darkness from above (the rubble or our sins?)

 

But if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

Nothing changed at all?

And if you close your eyes,

Does it almost feel like

You've been here before?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

How am I gonna be an optimist about this?

 

If you close your eyes, does it almost feel like nothing changed at all?

(azlyrics.com)

 

 

Some questions that could be asked of this song:

1. What event is the song referring to?

2. What are the "great clouds" composed of?

3. What happened to the city that the song is referring to?


Jimmy Buffett's Volcano

 

 

There are few “popular” songs that talk about geological events. One of those is Volcano by Jimmy Buffet which talks about a volcanic eruption. Here are some questions using the song lyrics to understand volcanoes and if what he is talking about is possible.

 

1. “Ground she’s movin under me” refers to what? (Specifically harmonic or tectonic in this instance)

 

2. What is the typical source of “tidal waves” and is the scenario so far conducive to tidal wave production?

 

3. Based on the clues in the song, what is the environment (and what are those environmental indicators)?

 

4. What kind of volcanoes would you expect in this type of environment?

 

5. Would you expect “sulphur smoke” and “soft and hot” lava from this type of volcano?

 

6. Would this type of volcano “blow”? Enough to launch people into space (metaphorically speaking)?

 

7. Why would you see your “skin aglow” at Three Mile Island?

 

 Click below for the Jimmy Buffett's Volcano directions in pdf format

 

 

Answers can be obtained by directly emailing me at Jazinator@hotmail.com


America’s Horse With No Name

 

 

            There are instances when you can listen to the radio and the words that come back to you can mean other things than what the artist initially intended them to. Whenever I listen to America’s Horse With No Name, I hear geological concepts being mentioned. So, that is what you are going to do here. You are going to take what is being said in the song, and use it to understand some geological concepts.

 

  1. What are the environments mentioned in the song?

  1. What types of conditions does the song use to define these environments?

  1. Does this match what is geologically used to define the environments?

  1. What did he find on the 3rd day? And do you think you could see this feature in the desert? Find a picture of one if you think one exists.

  1. What is the geological term for the change in environment described in the song (“desert had turned to the sea”)

  1. What are the two (tectonic) possibilities to explain how this could happen?

  1. The song states that “after 9 days…the desert had turned to the sea”. Assuming a really fast time period for this to happen is 100,000 yrs. How much faster is this event that America described?

  1. “The ocean is a desert with its life underground”. Now assuming he meant underwater, do you agree with this statement? Why or why not?

  1. Bonus Question: Why does the horse have no name?

 Click below for the Horse With No Name directions in pdf format

 

 

Answers can be obtained by directly emailing me at Jazinator@hotmail.com