Shift Together – Transition Rap (SB Version)

I wrote these words mostly on the bus to Norwich via Lowestoft some weeks ago. The song had its first outing at our Big Meeting on August 1st where it enjoyed a positive reception and we all joined in with the music. Due to popular request here is the tailored and updated version:

Shift Together – Transition Rap (Mostly Sustainable Bungay Version)
lyrics by Mark Watson
sung to the tune of ‘Come Together’ by The Beatles

We run on chip fat, we down
Shifting quickly, she got
low carbon gumboot, we got
Handmade beehive
We say grow your own and
Plant for bees
Our soap’s biproduct glycerine
And we wash when we please

He pushing pedals, he got
Roadshow genny,we got
Solstice sunrise, he make
Medicine jelly, she say
Blog and blog and blog in threes
Got to be Transition
Coming up from our knees

Shift together, right now
It’s in the we

She on the network, we got
No-spam filter, we got
Neighbourhood plug-in, we do
Group newsletter, we say
Meet, greet, eat and
Set the scene
Got to be where we are and
Know where we’ve been

Shift together, right now
It’s more than green

We stitch up old sock, we do
Library courtyard, we swap
Local home-grown, we start
Old Spot pig club
We say you and you and you and me
Let’s forage in the the hedgerows and
Eat roots, shoots and seeds

We own production, we got
Sweet jar banknotes, we got
Solar panel, we know
Birch sap tapper, we say
Give and take and take the lead
Join the dots together and
Share what you don’t need

Shift together, right now (oh yeah)
Sow the seeds

Standing Up To Speak – (Pattern 1.8)

Mark Watson posted some reflections on Nick Watts’ Tale of Two Curves talk to the Transition Norwich community blog This Carbon Life. I thought they were worth repeating here.

Mark writes:

The Chaucer Club

Last night I went with Charlotte to The Chaucer Club. We were giving fellow transitioner Nick from Sustainable Bungay a hand to set up and deliver his first talk – A Tale of Two Curves – about the limits to economic growth, peak debt, peak oil and climate change. It was a lively talk which Nick illustrated with nicely hand drawn graphs and a timeline. As he explained Hubbert’s Curve, showed the illusory and unsustainable nature of the present economic growth model and spoke about physical resource limits, Charlotte would occasionally blow one of those whistles which whoop up or down (unlimited growth) or I would ring a bell (Time, ladies and gentlemen, please. Everything has a limit!)

At the Transition Conference last month Rob Hopkins introduced a new way of understanding Transition using A Pattern Language. It was felt that the twelve steps were rather too linear an approach. Many people thought they had to follow them to the letter in the “correct” order. The Pattern Language is more fluid and self-organising. You can read more about it in Charlotte’s excellent posting from the conference here.

Nick in mid-flow

So far there are 63 patterns and Standing Up To Speak forms pattern 8 of the first section What We Start With. It’s about learning how to speak in front of people about Transition, a skill anyone in any initiative can learn to do – just get on out there and get as much practice as possible. Nick took the leap last night with the rest of the group backing him, and it was a great first show.

Being involved in Transition for the last few years has brought about radical changes in my approach to the world. One is I’ve become much bolder about speaking with people, both in public and private. Whether I’m taking a group out to introduce them to the wild, native plants in the neighbourhood, connecting people who want to learn more about growing food locally, speaking to a group who want to set up a Transition initiative or writing these posts, a lot of my old hesitation and timidity is just no longer there. I think the key for all of us lies in the passion for our subject and the desire to share it, whether it’s mine for wild plants or Nick’s for economics.

Mark getting passionate about plants whilst leading the Spring Tonic walk

About thirty people came out on this warm summer’s night for the talk and to join in the discussion afterwards. As with many Transition events people weren’t in any rush to get away. The bar was open and conversations carried on till closing time.

On the TV screen in the bar Cliff Richard was singing, dancing and laughing with a studio audience in a show from some time ago. My attention shifted after a few moments back to the Chaucer Club and Nick’s talk and I realised not only does Transition interest and engage me now more than any TV entertainment, but it’s just not true that We Don’t Talk Anymore.

Charlotte talks to the Mayor of Norwich about Transition at the Norwich Peace Camp

A Tale of Two Curves: Natural Limits and Economic Growth (30th June 2010)

Nick Watts has spent the last few months immersed in current economic theory and the economic history of the world. And now he feels ready and able to share some of the things he’s learnt with a wider audience.

Nick’s introductory talk will be about the reality of our economic situation – something that is often kept obscure by business, politicians and media – and the ways we can adapt and thrive in changing times. Nick will explore and demonstrate the 2 “curves”, which explain the fragility of our economy; provide a whistlestop tour of economic history, including a brief analysis of consumerism and the crunch of 2008; identify ways of adapting to these circumstances within the Transition framework and investigate ideas for promoting resilience in the local economy.

Nick has been putting together a mysterious list of props including a bell, ice hockey stick, and chess board. He promises audience participation and so – despite the rather serious subject matter – it sounds like it’s going to be a very entertaining evening…

7.30pm, Wednesday 30 June at in the Chaucer Club. 30 minutes, plus discussion. Free entry, bar open.

Survival Tales

Becky writes: An amazing singer/songwriter is touring a range of unconventional locations across the UK, and is performing in Ilketshall St Andrew on the 24th – outside if the weather is good, in the barn if not.

Survival Tales a performance and workshop by Eirlys Rhiannon

Thursday 24 June 2010 – afternoon show – 12.30pm – 2:30pm*
Common Ground Land Co-operative, Clarkes Lane, Ilketshall St Andrew
(nearest postcode – NR34 8HR)

Children welcome – bring a picnic too!

£5 (no-one turned away for lack of funds)
Places need to be booked in advance –
*a free lunch will be on offer from 12noon , and the event will finish by 2.30pm

What’s it all about?

Survival Tales Flier

To survive in this world, we each create stories.

Our stories affect people around us, and in turn we get affected by the stories we hear and see every day.

To protect ourselves, we create safe stories: ‘the scientists are lying’, ‘the government will sort it out’, ‘this product will help’.

We need to decide how we live – but how do we make decisions? Is this version of democracy the best we can do? Who’s in charge? Can we trust any of our solutions?
Can we learn anything from history? And does anyone have a super-hero cape in my size?

Survival Tales is a series of small, intimate performance events, designed to take place in unusual venues, including living rooms, community gardens and social centres.

Contact us for booking details:

Produced in association with Natasha Machin and Trapese Popular Education Collective, with assistance from Artist Project Earth