Redemption Song

Abby Clutario

Won’t you help to sing these songs of freedom?

I stumbled on this lovely recording when browsing the facebook group ‘The Hippies Were Right’ – but that’s another story …

Let’s hear it for the Chapman Stick, an unusual 12 (or 10 or 8) string guitar-like instrument. Learn all about them at No, I’m not on commission, but I did the searching so you don’t have to. I first heard a stick played live by the excellent Jim Lampi in about 1992 at the Rolls-Royce guitar club in Derby. Everyone was astonished at the sound and the musicianship.

And let’s hear it for Abby Clutario. She is a featured artist for Nord instruments, and from their web site we read

Abby Clutario is a Filipino multi-instrumentalist, composer and arranger, best known as the vocalist, keyboardist, and Chapman Stick player of the progressive band fuseboxx, and world-fusion group, Humanfolk.
Her interest in music began at age 4. Throughout her formative years, she honed her musical talent in singing and playing the piano as a choir and music ministry member. To further discover her talents, she pursued a music degree in college, developing her musical abilities and immersing herself with a fusion of influences in classical music, pop, jazz and new age.

This song speaks for itself. You don’t need me to draw out some spiritual message. But maybe you can meditate on some scripture while you are listening – I’ve picked John 1:1-14.

Rockin’ In The Free World (Worldwide Jam)

Various artists

Here is music bringing people together! This video features artists from Angola, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, England, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, Portugal, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, Ukraine., USA, Venezuela (but not in that order). Whew – imagine organising that!

I’ve added this bonus version of the song because I used a shortened version in my original post which omitted some crucial lyrics.

There are a number of videos available of Neil Young and others performing this song, but I used this one as a bonus because a) it’s got all the words(!) and b) it’s a great music project where people from around the world have joined together to create a unique recording and c) there is some fine guitar shredding going on. Plus, there are definitely other instruments used that I’ve never seen before.

Which is the ‘real’ version of the song? Which one is ‘the truth’? This illustrates the way in which parts of the Bible have been written, with a selection of material and choice of presentation style for a particular audience. For example, we have four Gospel books of the life of Jesus (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) rather than one – but it doesn’t make sense to ask ‘which one is the real one?’.

Yaar-e Bamyani

Aryana Sayeed

Well every day is a school day here at Hotlips House so it’s time to introduce Afghanistan’s number one female singer, Aryana Sayeed. If you like Led Zeppelin (think Kashmir) you’ll love the beats in this.

The video is an encapsulation of the spirit of modernity and independent womanhood (remember Malala Yousafzai). It opens in a classic southern USA style with the sound of banjo (possibly) and handclaps and Aryana wearing boots, blue jeans and shades jumping out of the back of a pickup truck. It’s also a travelogue for what is clearly a beautiful and historic country. Very interestingly, there is a sequence starting at about 1:05 where she is singing at the site of the Buddhas of Bamyan which were dynamited by the Taliban in 2001 – I think she is making a statement.

She’s singing in Persian, and I had to do some digging to find the lyrics: Mr Google’s automatic translation didn’t seem to capture the full nuance. You can read them here but it’s basically a love song by someone who adores her loved one, but is missing him and doesn’t know when he will return.

Cut to the sauciest book in the Bible, the Song of Songs which is a poetic drama sung between two lovers who frankly can’t get enough of each other. It’s quite short – just over five pages in my printed copy and worth a read from one end to the other. It’s got love and longing, kissing and fruity innuendo. Enjoy!

“Hurry to me, my darling! Run faster than a deer to the mountain of spices.”