Dana Lyons, known for his songs of humor and environmental inspiration, performed his tune “The Great Salish Sea” during Saturday’s Ways of Whales Workshop on Whidbey Island.
The lyrics are told from the perspective of “Granny,” an orca estimated to be 104 years old and the oldest whale among the Southern Residents. The song tells about how underwater sounds, as heard by the whales, have changed over time — from the Native American canoes and the sailing ships of yesteryear to the noisy tankers of today.
Dana performed the song solo, with only his guitar, on Saturday at the Ways of Whales Workshop, sponsored by Orca Network. The sound was wonderful, and Dana’s voice rang out clear, but the recorded version sounds richer with additional instrumentation, as you can hear in the first video on this page.
“The Great Salish Sea” is the title song is from Dana’s latest album, which includes the popular “Salmon Come Home.” I’ve posted the music video of the salmon song in the second video player on this page. Other songs on the album include “I Need the Water,” which speaks of the competition for this limited resource. To hear the songs on the album, go to “The Great Salish Sea” on Dana’s website., which also includes his full list of albums.
Dana has toured throughout North America and in many countries during his 30-year career. His current schedule includes upcoming appearances in Langley, Vancouver, B.C., and Port Townsend.
Dana was born in Kingston, New York, and graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. He now lives in Bellingham.
Humor has long been a key part of Dana’s music, so I think we should revisit one of his most popular songs, “Cows with Guns,” viewed in the third video player (below).