House on Fire - the firewood song

Words and music: Pete Lyon, 2001

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House on Fire - the firewood song

Firewood users beware! The firewood you burn might have been home to Australian native birds and animals - including some threatened species

House on Fire, an original song written and performed by well-known Canberra band Errol Fin and produced by the Department of the Environment and Heritage, is a lively tune with a message - that logs have life inside.

The key character in the song is Clancy the Cockatoo, a clever cocky who returns home only to find his tree has been chopped down for firewood. He gathers a throng of homeless creatures together to educate the nearby townsfolk about sustainable firewood and to remedy the situation for future generations.

Clancy's message is that while many Australians use firewood to keep warm in winter, hollow logs and trees also provide homes for many native birds and animals to live in and raise families. Birds make nests in hollow trees. Insects feed on dead wood to survive. Many birds, reptiles and mammals need to eat these insects for their survival.

Lyrics to House on Fire

Well Clancy was a cockatoo whose home was in a tree
And he set out one morning - there were friends he had to see
That day a firewood collector cut the old tree down
to take a load of firewood to town.

When Clancy came back home, of course, there was no home to see
Just a truck of firewood, and not a log or tree
And there were other animals who had no place to hide
and all of them were sad and so they cried...

Boo hoo!

Well Clancy was still crying when the truck began to drive
But then he had a great idea - his mind it came alive
He shouted "All aboard - we've got a lot of work to do"
"They'll never take our homes without us too"

They travelled through the evening and they travelled through the night
And then in town next morning was a most unusual sight
For there atop the firewood were animals and birds
They held a little sign - and on it were the words...

House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.
House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.

When people came to buy their wood they saw this funny sight
And heard about the houses in the fires they were to light
And everyone was sad, and said "we cannot buy this wood"
The firewood collector said "This isn't good!"

Then Clancy flew above them all - he had a megaphone
He said "You can have firewood without destroying homes -
So get your wood from places that are cared for well and good
so we can keep our homes - and you can have your wood

(and then we won't have to sing)
House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.
House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.

The people said "Yeah, Clancy's right, that's the thing to do"
The firewood collector said "I'll get that wood for you"
So Clancy and his friends they waved the people there goodbye
House hunting's never easy, but the time had come to try.

and as they left they kept singing...

House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.
House on Fire. House on Fire. Houses in the fire in your house.

© words and music, Pete Lyon, 2001.

Recording details

House on Fire was written by Pete Lyon, 2001.
Copyright words and music, Pete Lyon 2001.
Recorded by Errol Fin (and friends) at Infidel Studios, Queanbeyan NSW, August 2001.

Vocals: Pete Lyon, Kate Dixon, Julia Bradshaw, Malory Bloor, Elizabeth Claridge, Jacinta Donaldson, and Matthew Coulton
Guitar: Pete Lyon
Violin: Helen Gladstones
Double Bass: Graeme Tinney
Percussion: Jon Jones
Engineered by Duncan Lowe, Infidel Studios
Mastered by Kimmo Vennonen
Contact Errol Fin, or join their email list, at errolfin@hotmail.com

 

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