Before the Oil Wells Ran Dry

Were you drinking wine from Argentina
Or Indonesian coffee
Did you take some in a plane
And go fly across the country
Did you go to work the next week
Drive your daily twenty miles
Stop off at Sears to see
The latest Chinese styles
When you did these things
Did you wonder how or why
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

Were you watching the news
Did you wonder when
They’d bomb another country
Or start up the draft again
As you tried to stop the war
That might decide the planet’s fate
Did you stop to question
How that food got on your plate
As you stuck your fork
Into that slice of pie
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

When you went back to college
To get another PhD
Or you went into the studio
To record one more CD
Did it occur to you
That your time might be spent better
Digging in the earth
Or learning to knit a sweater
Did you prepare for all the changes
Or at least pretend to try
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

When the cars and planes stopped running
And the dollar hit the floor
And the hordes of hungry children
Were knocking on your door
When unemployed men in the streets said
Blame the Arabs for our plight
Did you shout with dirt held high
Farmers of the world unite
Did you ride an ox into town
And say join the Green Revolution or die
In the years before the oil wells ran dry

“Before the Oil Wells Ran Dry” originally appeared on the web-only (Soundclick) release, Waiting for the Fall in 2005 (not to be confused with the retrospective CD of the same name I put out in 2009).

I often think about how completely ridiculous our Oil Age lives will look to later generations. How utterly absurd these chapters of capitalist insanity will appear to normal people later on, rather than just to the radicalized fringes of a society. Will it be too late for humanity by then? I hope not. I like humans. At least a lot of them…