Pittsburgh Earth Day Anthem - "(Lay Down) Candles in the Rain"

Performed by Voices for the Earth



Pittsburgh Musicians come together to create new version of 50-year old Earth Day Anthem. "(Lay Down) Candles in the Rain" by Voices for the Earth is available for free download and streaming. 

Featuring Pittsburgh music royalty, including: Michael Glabicki, Jenn Wertz, Scott Blasey, Kelsey Friday, Clinton Clegg, Joe Grushecky, Mia Z, Melinda Colaizzi, Joe Grushecky, Jeff Jimerson, Anthony Rankin, Stevee Wellons, Bria Zegarelli, Ronda Zegarelli, Deryck Tines Choir, and The Church Recording Studio.

Partnership with Global Earth Network produces video featuring earth action items.

Executive Producers: Ronda Zegarelli and Gary Kalinosky, Acrobatique Creative

Music Producers: Rick Witkowski, Studio L. and Dana Cannone, The Church Recording Studio

"Candles in the Rain" written by Melanie Safka | "Give Peace a Chance" written by John Lennon


About "(Lay Down) Candles in the Rain"

To celebrate Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary, luminary Pittsburgh musicians came together as Voices for the Earth and recorded a new version of the original Earth Day Anthem “(Lay Down) Candles in the Rain.” The song is available to stream or download at beginning today.

Artists featured on the song include Pittsburgh musical luminaires: Michael Glabicki and Jen Wertz (Rusted Root), Scott Blasey (The Clarks), Kelsey Friday (Brownie Mary), Clinton Clegg (The Commonheart), Joe Grushecky (Houserockers), Melinda Colaizzi (Women who Rock), Jeff Jimerson (Pittsburgh Penguins and Airborne), Anthony Rankin, Stevee Wellons, Mia Z (The Voice), Bria Zegarelli and Ronda Zegarelli - all backed up by the rousing gospel sounds of the Deryck Tines Choir.

“This is a special song that still resonates today for Earth day and also in these times of crisis. Our Earth is in crisis, our systems are in crisis, so it’s wonderful to be a part of this project that will hopefully inspire a feeling of togetherness during this time of being apart,” said Jen Wertz. “And it’s just so appropriate that we are all being still during Earth Day this year. Maybe Mother Earth needed a break from all of our normal human activity.”

Originally written by Melanie Safka and released in 1970, Melanie was moved to write the song after performing at Woodstock. Speaking of how she wrote “(Lay Down) Candles In The Rain,” Melanie says, “I left that field with that song in my head, the anthemic part.” The lyrics speak to the sense of community that washed over Safka on that magical night. “It was this incredible flow of human power being directed toward me.” When the rain stopped, members of the crowd lit candles to let other people know that everything was "bright". Melanie was so moved by the sight that she wrote this song to commemorate it.

You can even hear a strain of “Give Peace a Chance” in the new version – adding hope and a call to action.

Pittsburgh musicians came together on a cold January weekend at the Church Recording studio to lay down tracks. The recording was created by the dynamic production team of Rick Witkowski, Studio L and Dana Cannone, and The Church Recording Studio team.

Ronda Zegarelli, a local musician and owner of creative and events agency Acrobatique was the catalyst for this project. Acrobatique has been the force behind the signature week-long programming of Pittsburgh Earth Day for the last five years. “In looking at the past for inspiration, I stumbled upon a song that I recognized from years ago as a little girl. I recalled being moved and singing along with the anthem style chorus,” said Zegarelli. “When I was asked to evolve Earth Day programming for the 50th Anniversary, I felt music would be the unifier to inspire a community of like-minded people. People who want to change behaviors as those before us had done 50 years ago. I hope that the song resonates and enlightens everyone's hearts, souls as we come together in celebration of Earth Day during an unprecedented new world”. 

Pittsburgh Earth Day has partnered with Earth Day Global Network to present a video of the song featuring the network’s “Earth Day Challenge” which offers 22 action-oriented items to support the earth that people can participate in right now, from the comfort of their own homes. The video serves as inspiration for the simple steps that people can take to make a difference and inspire others to do the same.

According to the Earth Day Global Network, “While we collectively take action as individuals to bend the curve and reduce the spread of coronavirus, we cannot lose sight of the bigger picture — our global climate crisis. The intrinsic connections between human health and planetary health sparked the first Earth Day in 1970, and today, we must rise to meet these dual crises again as Earth Day marks 50 years. In the face of a challenge that forces us to stay apart, we’re bringing challenges to bring the world together.”