It's April 21st and everybody knows today is Earth Day
Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday to whoever's being born
And now I'm trying hard to think of something
meaningful and worthy, kind of earthy
to make everybody ask themselves just

What are we doing here?
and what are we doing to her?

I don't know
What are we gonna do?
What are we gonna do?
What are we gonna do?

2041, the world is gonna end, I've got the message
from a tiny little man who only said that he'd been sent
I'm not a protest singer, I can't write a song to send a message
but it seems to me that this message needed to be sent

What are we doing here?
and what are we doing to her?

I don't know
What are we gonna do?
What are we gonna do?
What are we gonna do?


Lyrics submitted by oofus

What Are We Gonna Do? Lyrics as written by John Mills Easdale

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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What Are We Gonna Do song meanings
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3 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    This song seems to be a semi-whimsical ode to Earth Day. There seems to be no mystery about that in regards to the lyrics. I saw the group perform this song a few years back and John Easdale admitted that he rarely performs this song but he wasn’t sure why.

    There is (of course) a bigger question regarding this song. Recently, the subject of Earth Day was a topic of discussion and I was asked when exactly, is Earth Day. In my mind this song started playing and I responded “It's April 21st and everybody knows today is Earth Day”. Well, imagine my chagrin to learn that Earth Day is April 22! So what’s up with this song John? Maybe the lyrics should be, “It's April 21st and everybody knows today is the day before Earth Day”? I guess John is just having some more fun with the song.

    grogleyon April 24, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    From the 18 Big Ones liner notes:

    The strong follow-up single "What Are We Gonna Do?" parodied late-period Beatles pop to cynically skewer the bumper-sticker mentality of all-too-many armchair environmentalists. "I still don't think people get it," notes John Easdale. "Environmental people listen to it and thing "Wow, this guy is really 'Green'!" It disturbs me to think that there are really people that believe that they're 'spokespersons for a generation.'" Easdale recalls the song's genesis: "We played at the festival celebrating the 20th anniversary of Earth Day. Forget about the last 19 that nobody celebrated; 'It's the 20th anniversary let's have a party!" And they did, at the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Linda Gray from Dallas is in our trailer smoking cigarettes and drinking beers, and there's a quarter of a fucking million people in front of us! When everyone left we looked at all the garbage left behind and wondered just what we were celebrating."

    RedMage13on January 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation

    I'm pretty sure Easdale uses the wrong date for Earth Day on purpose as irony.

    RogerRyanon September 15, 2010   Link

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