Big Ice

Lyrics by Christine Kallman

Glaciers and heavy ice sheets have ruled the polar regions for eons. But now the ice is melting. Will we find a way to save the ice?

This text was written for the North Cambridge Family Opera, and performed in 2013 and again in 2017 at the Cambridge Science Festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with music by Daniel Kallman. For licensing, or for more information, contact Christine.

Big Ice

Mmm . . Ooooo . .
Big ice . . Big, big ice.

Sheets of snow on frozen snow or towering tall and craggy.
Wind-swept and barren or nestled in green valley.
Big ice wide as continents extends its wintry rule.
Big ice keeps our planet cool. (Big ice . . Big, big ice)

Heavy ice sheets, sliding glaciers and solid seas,
And permafrost–the frozen ground of northern countries–
With winter snow and ice that come and go each year
Make up the frozen water that we call Earthʼs cryosphere.

Big ice reflects the sunʼs light.
Big ice chills the air and the ocean streams.
Big ice makes the level of the seas just right.
Big ice keeps our planet cool. (Big ice . . Big, big ice)

In a climate so cold and bleak who can survive?
The polar bear and penguin have adapted to stay alive.
Tiny fleas and yellow poppies thrive where glaciers creep,
And, cozy in their heated homes, the Inuit people sleep.

Ice Ages through the years have ruled with frigid hand
Then receded, leaving paths carved in the land.
But now big ice is melting and itʼs not what we had planned.

Greenhouse gasses trap the heat inside the atmosphere.
Why this happens, what it means, is beginning to be clear:
The coal and the oil we burn make too much CO2, we learn;
Perhaps we never will return to so much ice! (Big ice . . Big, big ice)

The penguins, the squid, the whales and the seals need  .  .  Ice!
The cities, the farms, the people everywhere need  .  .  Ice!
Will we find a way to save the ice?

–Christine Kallman, 2013, All Rights Reserved

Christine Kallman writes plays, song lyrics, and poems.