Song of the Week

EHSDA Song of the Week: Monkey Gone to Heaven

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been busy lately and that’s not going to change over the next few years. EHS Daily Advisor wrote last week about the EPA’s enforcement and compliance initiatives for 2024-2027. This inspired the Song of the Week, an environmentally themed classic from Pixies called “Monkey Gone to Heaven.”

The song is on the second Pixies album, 1989’s Doolittle. Songwriter and frontman Black Francis typically wrote cryptic lyrics for his songs and “Monkey Gone to Heaven” is no exception, combining biblical numerology with environmental themes.

“There was a guy/An underwater guy who controlled the sea/Got killed by 10 million pounds of sludge from New York and New Jersey.”

The song went to #5 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart and #60 on the U.K. Singles chart. Doolittle sold well, eventually getting certified platinum for 1 million sales in 2018. It’s a hugely influential album, cited by artists including Nirvana and PJ Harvey as an inspiration. The band released two more albums before splitting up in 1993 and then reuniting 20 years later for sporadic tours and albums.

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