Original Live Recording & Background

November 2008

Occupying Army is a song that imagines Earth asking us to remember we are of her, not an occupying army upon her. I wrote it as a maternal love song, a planetary plea.

It was recorded with contributions raised through a community philanthropy model.  I am grateful to all who gave money and encouragement and I am grateful for the opportunity to share the song with you. I hope you enjoy it and that it may serve to bring more inspiration to our collective efforts and responsibilities to making the changes needed.

I welcome any feedback or ideas.

In peace and power,


June 2008

Many good people urged me to consider the song for an environmental campaign. Maybe this simple song could further encourage a groundswell of those devoted to planetary protection and survival. For that purpose, I endeavor to do a studio recording and a video so that the song may be of service.

The Hollyhock Leadership Institute kindly generated an opportunity for me to bypass traditional funding models in an attempt to make the work in a timely manner. It is ambitious and audacious. We are asking friends and would-be friends to contribute money or goods and services in-kind towards making the recording and video.

Below is a live recording of Occupying Army from its premier at the salon series Song Room. John Korsrud (Hard Rubber Orchestra) is on Fluegal horn and Cris Derksen is on cello and effects. I am singing.

Contributions to the realization of the re-recording and video for this song are gratefully accepted at: http://www.givemeaning.com/project/occupyingarmy

To listen, click below

Original Live recording @ Song Room #7 – Occupying Army

NEW RECORDING, Produced by Corduroy Kid-Occupying Army

Occupying Army

Fruit from my trees
Fish from my seas
Wheat of my fields
Everything you need

Don’t act like I never gave you enough
I gave you my very own body to sup

Borders are false
Lack is a lie
Your impulse for ruin
Is glory denied

Violence is not virtuous
The things you do are hurting us

Treat me like you love me
You’re not an occupying army
You are of me
Treat me like you love me

Pain shared is halved,
Joy shared doubled
Lay down your arms and
Come to my table

I know who you are child, we’re one in the same
My soil is your soul, Earth is my name

Treat me like you love me
You’re not an occupying army
You are of me
Treat me like you love me.


You are of me
You are of me
You are me


18 responses

25 06 2008
Jennie Reckon

Fantastic Vanessa! The song is beautiful and the clarity is fantastic! The site is looking good baby!

4 07 2008
Rita Wong

happy to hear that the song’s momentum is continuing to roll along!

4 07 2008
Katharine Carol

Thanks Vanessa – stunning!

13 07 2008
Nicole Dextras

wow tu est fantastique ma belle. treat me like you love me- says it all! it also resonates on a personal level as a deep sentiment that we can all relate to- getting to the heart of the matter!

12 11 2008
Martha Barker

We should all learn this song. This song should become a part of who we are. Vanessa’s love song to the earth. This is brilliant.

Thank you

12 11 2008
Lorraine Finch

Vanessa, I am not sure but “Are you Mother Earth”? What a beautiful song! I love it.

13 11 2008
Maureen Kwong


Brilliant in every sense!!!…thanks for sharing this…it resonates in my soul…


14 11 2008
Helena Campbell

Vanessa…you continue to amaze and impress!!!

Where do I buy copies? I want this to be my gift to my family this year.

Love the song, the sentiment and you.

31 12 2008

Vanessa I thank you for this amazing, beautiful song. How can we convince more humans to listen and sing along?

29 06 2009
Deconstructing Dinner – Water Energy: Sailing Produce & Supplies « The Erie Wire

[…] Vanessa Richards – Occupying Army […]

25 08 2009

Vanessa this song give me chills…thank you for the gift you share…and the reminder…

5 05 2010
Yaroslav (Slava) Senyshyn

A prodigious talent! I am deeply moved by Vanessa’s artistry and her very aesthetic and social sensibilities.

24 06 2010

I love this song. It made me cry. Everyone should hear it.

6 08 2010
Jennifer Murnan

Heard your song on Wings. Blew me away. Would very much like to purchase a recording of it.
Is one available?

20 08 2010

Hi Jennifer,

Thank you for your kind comment. You can download the rerecorded version for free on the ‘Occupying Army’ tab. You go to the ‘File’ tab and ‘Save Page As’ option. It will download an mp3 to your computer. Easy Peasy. Enjoy.

All my best,

15 04 2012

Years ago – after realizing I was in fact a recovering Catholic – I decided that the only Gods I believe in Are Father Time and Mother Nature; your song is indeed a plea from Mother Nature for all of us to improve our behaviour – and i think i detected a hint of a threat by her that we may not realize the majesty of her determination to survive with or without us…..only Time will tell.
I saw your performance with the choir at the Jim Green celebration – very impressive.

31 08 2013
14 03 2014
Dermot Haughey (@dermothaughey)

Beautiful song. Dig it greatly

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: