Playing For Environmental ChangeAround The World

John Paul Jones, London, England

This video features musicians playing for the global campaign ChangeAround The World. John Paul Jones of British band Led Zeppelin leads a global collaboration of musicians playing from Earth’s cities, territories, and tribal homelands, including Peranaá, Argentina, Venice Beach, California, London, England, and Kitekite Falls, New Zealand (complete list below). The campaign to save Planet Earth from human impact is to preserve the delicate balance of the world’s biodiverse ecosystem that exists within the only inhabited Blue Planet in the universe.

Definition biodiversity: Biodiversity refers to the variety of living species on Earth, including humans, animals, ocean, land, and sky dwellers, bacteria, fungi, and plants. The Earth’s biodiversity is rich but many species are being threatened with extinction due to human activities, putting the Earth’s magnificent biodiversity at risk. Each of these species and organisms work together in ecosystems, like an intricate web, to maintain balance and support life. Biodiversity supports everything in nature that we need to survive: food, clean water, medicine, and shelter. Source: National Geographic

“When The Levee Breaks” is a powerful, thought-provoking, and emotionally charged song by Led Zeppelin from the album Led Zeppelin IV (1971). The song on the Zeppelin album is a new version of the 1929 original recording by Kansas Joe Mccoy and Memphis Minnie about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, the most destructive river flooding in U.S. history, with 27,000 square miles (70,000 km2) inundated in depths of up to 30 feet. The flood affected Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Texas. Arkansas suffered the most damage, with 14% of its territory covered by floodwaters extending from the Mississippi and Arkansas deltas across the landscape.

Origin of the song “When The Levee Breaks”: Memphis Minnie (born Lizzie Douglas 1897 in Tunica County, Mississippi, died 1973) was married to Kansas Joe Mccoy (born 1905 in Raymond, Mississippi, died 1950). As a married black couple in the Deep South, the largest region at the time in the United States where black citizens lived, they were deeply affected by the destruction of the region where they were both born and lived. The couple wrote music and lyrics to the song and recorded it for Columbia Records in September 1929 in New York City.


Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe Mccoy, 1929

If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
If it keeps on rainin’, levee’s goin’ to break
And the water gonnna come in and we’ll have no place to stay

Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Well all last night I sat on the levee and moan
Thinkin’ ’bout my baby and my happy home

Copyright ⓒ 1929 Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe Mccoy.


“When The Levee Breaks,” recorded New York City, 1929

Film location information: This video was shot on location with dancers and musicians from cities, countries, territories, and tribal lands in: Argentina (Peranaá); California (Los Angeles, Mission Beach, Topango Canyon, Venice Beach); Congo (Kinshasa and Lukla); England (London); Florida (Jacksonville); Minnesota (Anishinaabe Tribal Land); New Zeland (Kitekite Falls, Pina and Te Henga Bethells Beach); Nigeria (Eruwa); Norway (Guovdageaidnu Sampi Tribal Land); Texas (Austin); Utah (Valley of the Gods).

Non-Profit Conservation Partners for the World

Partners in Peace and Environment

American Rivers

The World Wildlife Fund

Conservation International

The Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation

Steven Ford Brown