The Songs

Here are 10 of the songs included in the SWIMBY Songbook (published November 2015 by The Quixotic Press)

Alongside descriptions of the songs, you can here piano demos from sondcloud which are designed to help people learn the songs.

Home –  “Home is where we start from” and this song starts the show. A fast-paced song about what home means to us, why it’s important, and could apply to any hometown. Contains one or two clichés  – that’s homes for you.

Something Wonderful (in My Back Yard) – This title songs starts out wistfully wondering what it might be like if we did, one day, something special in our lives and how our children and grand-children might see us, before morphing into an upbeat anthem with the determined, present-time intention to “Make something extraordinary / that’s more than you that’s more than me”.

Veg on the Edge – An attitude-filled vegetable-inspired rap about a posse of young growers who grow as an act of radical defiance. Or so they claim. It’s ridiculous but got to be done straight.

“I got sorrel in my song, I got beans in my ballad / Everyone can sing along, it’s not rocket salad”

Make Do and Mend – A softer song about a woman making the best of things during a difficult time.    People join in with Transition for different reasons. Many aren’t idealists nor even particularly concerned about energy or climate change, some are just a bit lonely. “Make do and mend, it’s what her mother says”

Get a Life – When you’ve been told to “Get a life” enough times you might begin to question what kind of life they mean, what kind of life do you want, what kind is available? This happy-go-cynical song questions the expectations and values we’re sold and asks if there are other lives we could ‘get’.. “Here’s a check list – just tick your favourite box / try to fit in, in that box you ticked!”

Gullible We – Everyone believes in something – this strangely reassuring song celebrates our credulousness along with our incredible resilience and hopefulness in the face of mis-information and myth. “Everything’s credible, credible to / Sweet gullible me & sweet gullible you”   “And everything, everything, everything’s fine / You CAN have a powerful body like mine!”

Fellowship Carol – We’d written a song about friendship that we wanted to include, but it didn’t seem right for the musical so we wrote a traditional carol about friendship during a time of loneliness, imagining it written by one of the characters themselves. “So spare a thought or shed a tear / for everyone who’s far away / and raise a glass, or say a prayer / for those alone on Christmas Day.” Some of the characters aren’t sure about it but we love it.

Because the Sun – A melodic pro-renewable energy song about the logic, wisdom and ultimate inevitability of harnessing the power of elemental forces.  “Because the need is always there / Because the means are all around / Alive within the quickening air / Within the waters, underground”

Pie in the Sky – An energetic, pro-renewable energy, Country and Western inspired song – Yee hah! “Put a saddle on a sunbeam / Hang a bridle on a breeze / Ride the tide into the future land / of Possibilities”. Could do with some nimble-fingered banjo-picking.

Gullible We (Reprise) – Revisiting the earlier celebration of this under-rated human trait with an unashamedly self-congratulatory reprise. “Turn Tinkerbell dreams into practical schemes”


In Our Own Back Yard – A simple song – the simplest in the Songbook – sung by people who are basking in – and blinking in surprise at – their own achievements. “Right here where we live / here where we live and love and argue / here where we never thought we could / we have made something good”

We are grateful to Naturesave Trust for helping us to publish this songbook: Environmental, Conservation and Community Renewable Energy Grants provided by the Naturesave Trust