Six years in England, four under the intelligent tutelage of Davey Graham and other savvy friends, saw Holly observing from afar the Vietnam era struggle, Kent State, the insane behavior of the police at political conventions, and the civil rights movement in America.
Holly admits to being too focused on theatre work in college to have joined committed activists before she lived in England, but following her return to the states at the end of 1973 she had a new sense of events, of where and how she wanted to use her talents. It was during this time that Holly began writing songs that dealt with issues that mattered to her: overdevelopment in Florida, the destruction of Florida’s natural world and beaches; developing safe energy versus nuclear power and coal; the struggle of traditional Native Americans for justice on the Pine Ridge Reservation and elsewhere; the American Indian Movement and Native Rights in general; peace and justice issues; women’s and children’s rights; and environmental issues that impact life on planet earth.
So, there have been many songs over the last decades that sing of real things, and a few of them have gotten the notice of activists like Pete Seeger and Country Joe MacDonald, particularly, An Alternate Energy Plan or Let’s Poop Our Way to Peace and Prosperity. In 1998, Holly added water quality and conservation to her repertoire, contracted by water agencies on Florida’s Gulf Coast to educate school kids about serious water issues during a drought through original musicals in which she and actor/musicians including her daughter Sagesse toured Tampa area schools for 3 years.
Then Olympia’s own Water Resources Agency commissioned her to write and tour local schools with musicals specific to water hereabouts. In all, Holly has created 6 original musicals that toured over 78 schools in Florida and Washington since 1998. She’s not done. In progress is a rock/folk opera dealing with what in this country is becoming a culture of endless war, facilitated by anonymous death from the skies via unmanned drones. Stay tuned.
P.S. Sometimes, the songs are funny.
This video, complied by Dave Webb of the UK, tells the story of what the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space is all about. My satirical song, Planning a War in Space, is part of the soundtrack. I’m on the advisory board of the GN, which is actively working today to remind us that space is a peaceful commons for all nations of Earth. I’m proud to be part of this international organization. (Watch video on YouTube.)
The Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space: