Monday, April 18, 2011

The Amazon River Dolphin Song

In 1946, Frank Sinatra was the first to record "The Coffee Song," a novelty song that contains the well-know line, "They've Got An Awful Lot of Coffee In Brazil." Over the years numerous other artists have performed the song, including Louis Prima, Sam Cooke, Rosemary Clooney, and the Muppets to name a few. The song's humorous lyrics and catchy tune can always be counted on to bring a smile to those who hear it. But sadly, today far more depressing lyrics could be put to that familiar tune because catfish fishermen on the rivers of the Amazon rain forest have discovered that the strong odor given off by the flesh of the Boto, or River Dolphin, attracts catfish: as a result, thousands of these beautiful pink, bluish gray, or off-white creatures are being slaughtered every year to be used as bait. Recently, one fisherman joked that he often harpoons these dolphins "just to be mean." Such brutality is illegal in Brazil but the government's environmental protection agency has too few agents to cover the entire country and the killing goes on unabated. So the next time that you hear this song, I suggest that you substitute the following lyrics to remind yourself of this tragic reality because "They Kill An Awful Lot of Dolphins In Brazil"

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