You're probably familiar with the recent problems with quiet and silent vehicles and people with less-than-perfect sight. The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) has been on the case for a while, but there is one angle of their advocacy I didn't know about until Harper's printed the lyrics. The lyrics to what, you might ask? Well, the lyrics to a reworked version of the 1943 song Surry With the Fringe on Top (from Oklahoma!) and used by the NFB's Committee on Automobile and Pedestrian Safety. Mary Ellen Gabias wrote new lyrics to the song that go:

Kids and dogs won't know when to scurry.
Silent death arrives in a hurry.
All who walk have reason to worry 'Bout the hybrid car.
We all want to stop the polluting, Save a lot of gas while commuting.
If they made sound there'd be no disputing With the hybrid car.
Saving the planet we all hold dear, Nobody wants to destroy it.
Please make cars pedestrians can hear 'Cause we want to be 'round to enjoy it.
We don't need a noisy vrum-vrumming, Just a simple audible humming,
So that we can know when you're coming In a hybrid car.
Then we all can walk with safety on the street Without fear that we will accident'lly meet
A hybrid car.

Gabias told AutoblogGreen she hoped the song "would make people think about the issue, especially pedestrians who are not blind and may not have considered how they would be affected by nearly silent automobiles." Many thanks to Gabias for permission to post this song. You can download it yourself here and listen by pushing play, below:



This version is sung by Tom Bickford with piano by Chris Danielsen.

[Source: National Federation of the Blind via Harper's, thanks to Ann]