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JUST RELEASED: The latest track from my upcoming EARTHSONGS album: The 40th Parallel!
One of the observations that’s been made about our species on this planet is that an astonishing number of developments that have propelled humanity forward have happened midway between the equator and the poles, around the latitude we call the 40th parallel. This song celebrates some of the great mysteries about our planet that relate to this. Why has so much change that has profoundly affected our evolution and progress taken place close to the 40th parallel? (For more on the answer to that question, this discussion continues below the artwork!)
(To download the track, click on the cover and follow the instructions at the top of the Free Downloads page on this website.)
More about The 40th Parallel:
It’s not hard to come up with possible explanations for this association between new developments and this part of the northern hemisphere. This is the temperate zone, where—unlike at the poles or the equator—climate and weather conditions vary dramatically from season to season, even day to day. Creatures living in this zone have to adapt to heat and cold, rain and drought.
Furthermore, wind is a huge factor in how our civilizations have progressed at this latitude. If the Earth didn’t spin, the hot air at the equator would tend to move toward the poles at high altitudes, and the cold air at the poles would tend to move south toward the equator at ground level. But because the Earth spins, the Coriolis Effect makes any object that’s initially moving north or south turn as it goes forward, until it ends up moving more or less parallel to the equator. (That’s the reason water draining from a bowl always spins in the same direction as long as you’re on the same side of the equator.) As a result, instead of having winds blowing north at high altitudes and south at ground level, in the temperate part of the northern hemisphere we have the westerlies blowing at high altitudes, and the easterlies, or trade winds, blowing at sea level. Those trade winds made it possible for ships to sail across the great bodies of water separating the land masses, allowing trade and encouraging the spread of cultures and ideas (for good or bad).
One note: The 40th Parallel lyrics only refer to the 40th parallel in the northern hemisphere: “far above the Earth’s equator.” What about the southern 40th parallel? As it turns out, most of the land mass of our world lies in the northern hemisphere. Only a tiny amount of land lies along the southern 40th parallel (at least compared to the northern 40th parallel). As a result, the climate and wind conditions there don’t seem to have borne the same fruit seen in the northern temperate zone. I mean no insult to our friends to the south!
One other note: Because this song is a bit more mysterious than some of the other Earthsongs, at least one friend was puzzled by it at first. But after multiple listenings, she has declared it one of her favorites. So give it a few chances to sink in—it may grow on you!
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEWS: Nominees for awards in the JPF international music competition were recently announced. JPF is a grassroots organization with more than 50,000 members from 160 countries around the world. They hold a song/album competition every few years. Out of about a quarter-million song submissions (to the overall contest), two of my releases have been nominated as finalists for best holiday recording: Songs of the Season and ‘Twas the Day of Thanksgiving! The winners will be announced in early August! (If you’ve never heard the two tracks, just click on the covers below!)
Songs from the Upcoming Earthsongs project, already released:
You can hear and/or download each song by clicking on the cover picture. Thanks to all of the folks who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for the Earthsongs album…your contributions helped to make these recordings possible!
Click to hear the songs!
Click to read (or listen to) the poems!
Meanwhile, my book and CD set Help and Hope is still available and doing great!
My book Staying Off the Wheel of Misfortune is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, on Kindle, and as an audiobook at Amazon. (To hear a sample of the audiobook, click here: Wheel of Misfortune—Audio Book!) To learn more about the book and read samples, click on the drop-down menu About the Book at the top of this page. To check out the songs on the companion CD, Piece of the Puzzle: 12 Songs of Hope, click on the cover icon, above left, or check out the Free Downloads page on this website!
As always, my previous music releases are also available; click on the icons to the left!