Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Stop the Pipelines, Stop the Maddness

With yet another major pipeline break this past week, it seemed timely to post this piece I wrote during the controversy fighting to stop the Keystone Pipeline. 

 (Photos from Washington DC march to stop the Keystone LX pipeline. )

 It worked!

Building and opening the Keystone XL pipeline would have been nothing less than suicidal madness for the human race.  ALL pipelines leak.

With recent massive poisonous spills in my neighboring states might happen anywhere massive pipelines to transport dirty, toxic petroleum sludge.

There are a thousand reason NOT TO build these monsters, but only one reason TO build it.
Greed, pure and simple.

Not energy independence, because the figures do not add up to anything but worsening drought and climate destruction.

 Please stop the madness. Tell the EPA and your elected representatives to tune out the paid lobby and listen to the citizens who know that a few jobs are not worth the health of our ecosystem.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Where Did This Come From? Link to song

Where did that come from? 
Where has it been? In what other forms?

I love to play “Where does this come from?”, picking any item in a room and tracing the path of a book or chair, iPad, or cookie all the way back to it’s basic components.  A tree in Asia, sugar grown in Florida? Rare Earth element from Africa for an electronic component?  What kind of energy transported it to each step of its making? How many times did it need to be handled. What was the cost in air and water quality? 

This is a wonderful car game for families. It helps us see in our possessions just how interconnected we are on this planet.

First Law of Ecology: You can’t do just ONE thing. Everything is connected.


My love of planet Earth comes from such a deep spiritual place, that it has no words. When I play “Where does this come from?”  it inevitably goes back to the beginning of the Universe.

Surely along the way of Where Did This Come From, you will find a song to sing about a place or resource, so Sing Out!

Songs connect the whole world in weaving wonderful way!

My work has taken me from schools in the Hawaiian Islands to cathedrals and concert halls throughout North America. Nature centers and converted barns have been favorite places to sing and share the joy of wonders of Earth.  Whether at a University or a House Concert hosted in someone’s home, there is no sweeter music to me than when people join in and sing along.  Pete Seeger used to say that “Singing together strengthens the bonds of community.”  I think we can sense that power when we join together in song.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Well, This is Nice...Reviews!

Sometimes the Universe sees you need a little boost and just sends you a present. Don't you love it when that happens? Recently the Earth Mama CDs got these unexpected great reviews for Midwest Book Reviews, a specialty house that refers media materials to libraries and schools. 

Reviewer's Bookwatch: July 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

Andrea's Bookshelf

Rouse House Music
PO Box 450, Independence, VA 24348

Joyce "EarthMama" Rouse has created a grand variety of music albums over the course of decades, all with the common themes of promoting eco-literacy and good stewardship, appreciation for nature's splendor, the manifold joys of love and kindness, and everyday nobility in thoughts and actions (such as the moral principle encapsulated in the song "Only Take What You Need"). Her music is a treasure the whole family can enjoy, and makes excellent addition to school and public library CD collections. A selection of her uplifting, ecology-themed music albums include "A Sense of Place" ($14.99 CD/$9.99 MP3), "Pay Attention" ($15.00 CD/$9.99 MP3), "Around the World" ($14.97 CD/$9.99 MP3), "Love Large" ($15.00 CD/$11.00 MP3), "Grass Roots!" ($15.00 CD/$9.00 MP3), and "Under the Rainbow" ($15.00 CD/$9.00 MP3).

Andrea Kay

Library Bookwatch: July 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Multimedia Shelf

Virginia Beauty: A Love Song for the Commonwealth
Joyce Johnson Rouse
Rouse House Music
PO Box 450, Independence, VA 24348
$12.00 CD / $9.99 download cdbaby.com

Since Virginia has no official state song, composer Joyce Johnson Rouse (a.k.a. "EarthMama") created Virginia Beauty: A Love Song for the Commonwealth as a tribute to Virginia's natural beauty, hardworking people, and rich history. A medley of expert musicians perform Virginia Beauty in standard, bluegrass, abbreviated, and instrumental versions. Virginia Beauty is also enriched with bonus materials; when the CD inserted into a computer, the user gains access to printable documents and suggestions for using the song in performance and education. Highly recommended! The audio tracks are "Long Version", "Bluegrass Version - Featuring Dale Ann Bradley", "Short Version", and "Instrumental Track".

Children's Bookwatch: June 2016
James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief
Diane Donovan, Editor
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive, Oregon, WI 53575

The Holiday Shelf

Christmas Heart
Joyce Johnson Rouse
Rouse House Music
PO Box 450, Independence, VA 24348
$15.00 CD / $10.00 MP3 cdbaby.com

Joyce "EarthMama" Rouse presents Christmas Heart, a holiday-themed music CD for the whole family. Some of the songs have religious themes that celebrate God's love and the birth of Jesus Christ; all are shining with the universal joy and camaraderie of the season. An included lyric booklet makes Christmas Heart ideal for sharing and singing aloud, especially at Christmas caroling or parties. Highly recommended! The tracks are "Christmas Heart" (3:18), "Close To The Earth" (4:26), "Baby Child, Baby King" (2:34), "The Angel Tree" (3:49), "First Christmas Waltz" (3:27), "Christmas Candles" (2:52), "Quaker Christmas Medley" (5:03), "For Christmas" (3:25), "Fear Not (in the Stile Nacht)" (5:20), and "Green Christmas" (4:57).

Full reviews here:


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tree Polka



I wrote this after working with middle school kids who could only name 4 types of trees! There are over 60 tree species listed in this song, including the whole second verse filled with pine trees. Can you smell the forest pines?

Earth Literacy, the art and science of knowing this planet we call Home, the knowing and naming by species and biome, by taste and smell, by season and climate add to the richness of our lives. Earth Literacy is also the key to a sustainable future on our Amazing Earth!

   Learn to dance the polka for great exercise and co-ordination.

Tree Polka by Joyce Johnson Rouse

Oak, elm and poplar
Alder, magnolia and ash
Redbud and linden
Persimmon, apple, sumac
Walnut and hickory
Sweet gum and sycamore, yew
Maple, cherry, pear and myrtle
Cottonwood and spruce

(A verse of pines)
Digger and Jeffrey
Torrey and bristle cone
Lodgepole and bishop
Limber, Apache, knobcone
Sugar, Chihuahua
Whitebark and Monterey
Austrian, Scotch and Coulter
Western, white, Foxtail

Ginkgo and hemlock
Locust and chestnut and birch
Buckeye and laurel
Olive and aspen and fir
Basswood and dogwood
Butternut, cedar and beech
Tulip, chinkopin, mimosa
Willow, palm and peach
©2002 Rouse House Music, ASCAP. All rights reserved. http://www.earthmama.org/home
This Tree Polka blog written by Joyce Rouse was first published in the Children's Music Network blog in December, 2014. Reposted here with their permission.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

If You Need a Chair— Act Locally for stronger communities


Happy Chairmaker by Todd Price ©2013 Original oil painting. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This song is on my CD  “A Sense of Place” by Earth Mama. One of the main themes of the album is to honor whatever place you chose to live in. I love our local farmers market and meeting the people who grow our food.  As we discover more local products, I have greater respect for the artisans, growers, crafters, and creators of useful items we have right here in my community. And probably in yours! I wanted this song to have a global musical feel and honor many cultures, with humor, fun rhymes and places to sing along with “la la la” syllables.  I hope people will get up and dance around and sing harmony when they hear this song. And perhaps inspire people to make stronger communities by shopping for locally made goods. Maybe it will even promote supporting local music...  La La La La LA!

For music and lyrics click here: If You Need a Chair

This was first posted on the Children's music network blog in september 2015. reposted here with their permission

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Blue Ridge Parkway-A Ribbon of Stone

Come Drive this Ribbon of Beauty

One day as I drove a section the Blue Ridge Parkway, I noted migrating birds and imagined what the Parkway must look like to them, flying high above our terrain. I could picture the curving, undulating road from the sky like a ribbon on patchwork squares of farms and fields, woods and fenced off pasture land. Perhaps it looked like a long narrow rumpled quilt with creases of peak and valley.

Out of this image began music and lyrics fleshing out the many facets of the importance of the Parkway to our nation.  Many years ago, for the 50th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway, I had written and recorded a ballad of the history of the parkway. Now, the deeper cultural and ecological, natural history and artistic aspects called to me to paint a song richer in metaphor, melodically Appalachian and recorded with organic traditional instruments.

 The cultural history of this region is rich with stories of the early settlers, some played out by re-enactors of their brave and rough lives at designated stops on the Parkway.  The music, the handmade, homemade life that became the folk art of this region sprang up along the early trails of America’s First People and wildlife. And from above, to the raptors and songbirds, it might all look like a ribbon stitched on to a verdant quilt—a glimpse of heaven far below.

 A Ribbon of Stone

One of thousands of great views along the Blue Ridge Parkway, American's Favorite Drive.
Here's another song you may enjoy as you drive the Blue Ridge Parkway: Virginia Beauty

   Artist’s Statement:  Joyce Johnson Rouse