Studio demo version: Peak.mp3 . First recorded performance: and a better version is in Mal and Kylie's set for Tall Trees Festival at 2:00.57 of ).

Driving over the mountain range
Passing peak after peak
No iota I’d want to change
Every moment is unique
The hotel called and all’s prepared for when we arrive
Ah, what a time to be alive!
Driving over the mountain range
Passing peak after peak
But the motor is sounding strange
And the weather’s looking bleak
We could just pump the music up
And crank the heater too
But I feel there might be more we oughta do

The oil light flashed a while ago and the temperature has crept
Oh, fixing cars is not a thing at which I am adept
I’ll trust in the technology, drive on, enjoy the view
There doesn’t seem much more that we can do

Driving over the mountain range
Passing peak after peak
But the wombats have all got mange
And there's filth in every creek

I ask a friendly copper where to service and refuel
He just suggests we hitch a tow from a passing mule
I might not have the fuel I need to fetch the fuel I need
As my resources spin off course I'm forced to recognise my greed

As a first world human with a Y chromosome
And a white skin tone, I'm free to roam
With my religious, sexual and political liberty comes referred responsibility
With my relative wealth, health and higher education
I'm apex privilege and peak guilt by association
What am I gunna do? How am I gunna be?
What in the world is the best me?
What on earth is my true worth?
To be globally nobel, give the planet its due
  There's surely always more I oughta do

But to do more is to no more use more, yes
Our future is useless unless we use less

(My apology, I've drifted off my alpine allegory
It'd got a little gory, as you'd probably all agree
But it's not too late to recreate our fate
Great change is required, yup
We've gotta get fired up
To survive and even thrive
There's tons to be done
No time to wait, it could be fun!
So now, back to more story, restore the metaphor in five, four, three, two, one)

Oh, what a time to be alive!

Driving over the mountain range
Passing peak after peak
Overdue for an oil change
And the coolant’s sprung a leak

I switch the aircon off and realise it's hot outside
My suspension needs attention, it's become a bumpy ride
The road is now a narrow track, there's no turning back... the years
Of failing to apply the brakes, we double clutch to shift the gears
On down the hill we hit the skids
I'd hoped to pass this car on to my kids...

Driving over the mountain range
Passing peak after peak
Rolling clouds build and rearrange
Into mist some summits sneak
I pull into an abandoned quarry and give the kids a heartfelt sorry
“We’ll camp here, then tomorrow you can drive”
Oh, what a time to be alive!

©Mal Webb 2021

This song is inspired by the work of Simon Michaux, ex-mining engineer and incredible environmental number cruncher: . After seeing a video by him about his audit of the earth's resources (which I was led to by Tom Kendall), I contacted him and told him that I planned to write a song about it. He was initially surprised that it was something someone might do (I pointed him towards Charlie Mgee and Simon Kerr), but soon a fine old chat back and forth led to this song. Hopefully my song, like Simon's analysis, pulls up short of despair, yet still waves the right kind of flag. I like the irony of the car representing the earth!
We played it at a little house concert in Hobart, and one of the audients started eagerly typing on his phone. He apologised afterward, saying, "I write policy for the Labor Party and you inspired me". When I told Simon of this, he wrote "That is called a compliment of the highest order!!!" ... one does one's best to make a difference!

I hope you don't mind me momentarily breaking the allegory halfway through. I thought it was a good way to get from the "first world human" self analysis back into the mountain metaphor. The countdown is a musical joke, in that that middle section is in 8 beats to the bar and the countdown leads us back into being in 5 to the bar. He he! That said, the whole song is varying degrees of 5 against 8, in what I call a "Malleable PolyPolyRhythm", even with 3,13 and 21 put across the bar in some parts of the song, in a glorious fling of Fibonacci fun! More about that at: