Environmental Songbook

The World is Not Your Garbage Can

Music and lyrics by David Heitler-Klevans

©2009 David Heitler-Klevans

David wrote this song about something that makes him mad: littering.  Waggle your fingers along!  A little righteous indignation can be fun!  This song is now the title song of a musical that David & Jenny wrote for kids to perform.


I was on my way to school one beautiful blue-sky day
I finished off my favorite snack; I had the wrapper to throw away
I looked around for a garbage can, but there were none in sight
I dropped the wrapper on the ground
out jumped old Mrs. Pound
and she yelled at me with all her might -

"The world is not your garbage can
The world is not your garbage can
Listen what I say, young man -
The world is not your garbage can!"

Well, I hung my head and picked up my trash - feeling like an awful fool
And you know I found a garbage can when I finally got to school
I was sitting in class when the Principal made this announcement on the P.A. 
he said: "Everyone
is gonna have some fun
and clean up the park this Saturday!"

'cause (Chorus) (w/everybody lend a hand)

Well, Saturday came and I went to the park to pick garbage up off the ground
And I couldn’t believe the piles of stuff that were strewn all around
As I toiled to pick up other folk’s junk, I thought "this is such a pain!
If they just put in
the garbage bin
I wouldn’t have to sing this sad refrain:"


(repeat Chorus - ending with:)

It’d be more acceptable in a garbage receptacle -
The world is not your garbage can!

Movement: waggle finger on Chorus

Instrumental accompaniment: create instruments from reused/recycled materials (spring water bottle shakers, can cowbells, toilet paper roll kazoos, etc.

Act out the song.  Example - Video: https://youtu.be/tlV_oek-2BM

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All songs posted in the CMN Song Library are protected by copyright and are provided by the generosity of the owner/artist. You may perform songs you find here in classrooms and camps without the copyright owner’s permission. For all other performances, you must first obtain a performance license through BMI, SESAC or ASCAP or obtain the copyright owner’s express prior written permission.