An eclectic group of celebrities including Yoko Ono, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Susan Sarandon have joined forces in a music video calling for New York state to ban hydraulic fracturing.
Titled Don’t Frack My Mother, the song was written by Sean Lennon, with about 25 musicians, actors and comedians performing in the video.
It is the latest tool in the Artists Against Fracking campaign to discourage New York governor Andrew Cuomo from allowing fracking in the state. The group, set up by Ono and Lennon in 2012 after the pair learned that fracking could take place beneath their upstate New York farm, has attracted star backing from Robert DeNiro, Alec Baldwin and Paul McCartney among others.
“Now gather round people listen to my song,” sings Lennon, clad in blue denim dungarees and straw hat. “About something most of you’d agree is just wrong. There ain’t no place left on earth to discover, so please don’t frack my mother.”
The song was first performed by Lennon and Ono on the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show last year, but the star-studded video represents a new rendering. The video flicks between different celebrities, enabling the viewer to pick out Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Liv Tyler, Alexa Chung and Fred Armisen. Gyllenhaal and Sarandon also appear.
The cast join in for the chorus: “Don’t frack my mother, cos I ain’t got no other. You can do anything that you want to do, but please don’t frack my mother.”
Yoko Ono then pitches in: “Don’t frack me, don’t frack me.”
A decision on fracking in New York looks set to be delayed after the state assembly approved a two-year moratorium. If approved by the state senate and signed by Cuomo it would extend an already-existing ban on fracking in the state to 2015.
Artists Against Fracking argue that the process of hydraulic fracturing can allow chemicals to leak into water supplies. In Pennsylvania fracking has been blamed for some residents’ tap water becoming flammable and undrinkable. Supporters of fracking say that with tougher regulation and stricter controls on the drilling process the practice is safe.
Cuomo delayed a decision on whether to allow fracking last summer after Artists Against Fracking and other groups help collect 200,000 messages opposing the process. A Siena poll released on Monday showed that 43% of New Yorkers oppose lifting the ban in the state, with 39% in favour of allowing the practise. Eighteen percent of responders said they did not know or did not have enough information.