Jimmy Fallon and Russell Crowe teamed up for a revival of the Tonight Show host’s classic folk protest anthem, “Balls in Your Mouth,” Wednesday night, once again shedding light on the scourge of tar balls still floating in the Gulf Coast five years after the BP oil spill.
This week marks both the fifth anniversary of the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and Wednesday’s Earth Day celebration. Consequently, Fallon felt compelled to act, telling Crowe he couldn’t believe that tar balls were continued to wash up on shore.
“Apparently, BP still didn’t get the message,” Fallon pouted. “I dunno. Maybe it’s the song’s fault. Maybe I just let everyone down.”
“I don’t think so, Jim,” Crowe replied. “Your work ethic and your quality is always very high.”
Crowe offered Fallon some astute analysis of “Balls in Your Mouth,” but instead of just telling the host how the song made him feel, the Australian actor showed him as well: Crowe grabbed a guitar from behind the couch, tapped into the raw, fiery emotions he showcased in films like Les Misérables and Gladiator, and delivered a heartfelt rendition of “Balls in Your Mouth.”
Fallon soon joined in, and the pair traipsed through the crowd as the Roots provided the heart and soul necessary to bring the song to its rousing conclusion. “Blowin’ in the Wind,” eat your heart out.
If Crowe and Fallon’s rendition of “Balls in Your Mouth” doesn’t get BP’s attention, it won’t be for lack of trying: This marks the fifth time Fallon has performed the song since debuting it in 2010 while still host of Late Night. In subsequent revivals, Fallon has done duets of “Balls in Your Mouth” with Eddie Vedder, Florence Welch and Brad Paisley.