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(written by miriam berg while commuting from Berkeley to Hayward in 1961)

(music to go here)

There was a fair region out westward, they say
Till the planners came along and they filled up the Bay,
And old tires and scrap by the score and the ton
Littered the beach and that land was undone.

Yes, the Bay it was clean, and the fish, they did jump,
Till the cities began all their sewage to dump,
Now the bottom is black with the muck of the lands
And the Bay shrinks away while industry expands!
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

Oh, the cities were green, and the houses were proud,
Till the freeways ran wild to follow the crowds,
They tore down old mansions to pave all the ground
So that millions of big cars could go round and round.

The cities were clean, and the houses were glad,
Till the realtors said, These old houses are bad,
We can't make enough money, let's tear them all down,
And build expensive apartments all over the town.
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

The lupines and poppies, they bloomed on the hills,
But they've disappeared with the cuts and the fills,
And billboards invaded, like a gangrenous hand,
To blot out what scenery was left in the land.

Once both builder and owner took pride in a home,
And inside and outside were built like a poem,
But subdivisions have won, they are spread like a blight,
And houses with antlers are everywhere in sight!
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

The breezes and mists, they would dance and would fly,
And the stars shone like diamonds all over the sky,
But the stars are all gone, they are hidden from sight
By millions of stars blinking throughout the night!

The breezes and mists, they would freshen the air,
But no pleasant smells are left anywhere,
Diesel fumes and smokestacks now blanket the skies
And the clouds of yellow smog bring the tears to our eyes.
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

We're glutted with stuff to buy and to choose,
And automobiles, we've too many to use,
So we pile the wrecks high, making mountains of steel,
Soon the earth will be covered with junk automobiles!

The ravines are all filled up with empty beercans,
The roadsides are littered with junk that was man's,
Wherever you wander, wherever you pass,
The green earth's all covered with paper and glass.
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

We spray all the orchards, the fields and the trees,
We kill off the insects, the birds and the bees,
We sterilize wildlife, and shorten their days,
But nobody cares, we keep making new sprays.

Clear Lake was a place that had too many gnats,
So they sprayed all the lake and they sprayed all the flats,
It killed all the grebes and it poisoned the fish,
And the poison ended up in someone's dinner dish!
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

So there once was a Bay, and a clean, sandy shore;
But all of that beauty will ne'er be no more,
There were beautiful cities with quiet dark streets,
But the rampage of progress destroys what it meets.

I'd rather see mushrooms grow in the grass,
Barnacles covering a ship's hull at last,
Than stifling apartments beyond our control,
And the roaring of freeways taking peace from my soul.
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

Come, young lads and young lasses, and hear what I say,
We may still have time to rescue the day
And save the Bay and the towns and the hills
From the billboards and freeways and Bay-snatching fills.

Come, young lads and young lasses, and listen to me,
Let's save our fair land for posterity,
And don't just sit by while destruction and greed
Take away all the air, sky, trees, and water that we need.
    Singing, Too-ra-li, oo-ra-li, oo-ra-li-ay!

(from miriam berg's folksong collection)