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The Tribes of Babel


On March 1st2010, Motherjane released Tribes of Babel for Amnesty International’s
worldwide compilation album on something that man has always sought –PEACE.

Here’s MOTHERJANE’s account of their song “The Tribes of Babel” & why music for peace.
How do people view their differences? After all, aren’t most of our wars and disagreements about the fact that He,She or They, worship a different God, speak a different language , wear different clothes etc etc ? The list is endless and for a very brief moment one wonders, would peace be easier to find in a world with one view, language or culture and why aren’t things made that way?
Well, according to legend, man lived like that a long time ago. This song finds its birthplace in the city of Babel, a land where all men spoke the same language until they decided to build a tower to reach the heavens. As the tower rose, God realized that if mankind were to go on like this, there would be nothing that they couldn’t do and sent his angels to confuse the tongues of the people. Without a common language to bind them the people abandoned Babel to be scattered all over the world.
Now if you (like me), believe in a benevolent God wouldn’t you wonder, why were we scattered?
Could it be that God/the universe/life (depending on your ‘belief system’) was just ensuring that man spends life enjoying the earth? Heaven (if we deserve it ), will come in its due time.
I’m tempted to believe God sent down with his angels, the real stairs to heaven-the 1stand 5thnote in every song. Something to bind all tribes, a beauty forever highlighted by our differences of language, culture, creed etc.
After all a world with only 1 song, raga, mode or scale, no matter how great is was, is one we would all reject.
Maybe it is time for humankind to learn that the real path to peace is in cherishing our similarities and perhaps more importantly, in celebrating our differences.
Come to think of it, maybe that’s what we do every time we sing together.
So sing, my brothers and sisters. Sing!

Suraj Mani

The Tribes of Babel
We’ve learnt to ignore oceans
Wake up to changing times

To rediscover with innocence
All boundaries are thin lines
Born under our different flags
Wrapped up in belief systems
Pain body, Pride, Psychic bags
Good, Bad, We’re all of them
The tribes of Babel, the angels sent on
With the 1stand 5thnote in every song
To paint graffiti without walls, in the air
Stairways to heaven, for the truly aware
To raise our sights and tear walls down
To tempt us to look within & all around
Facing strangers to find ourselves
Singing out loud, in someone else
We’re the tribes of Babel, the angels sent on
With the 1st& 5thnote, the soul of a song
To paint graffiti without walls, in the air
To celebrate all Earth while we’re still here

This song Tribes of Babel is streaming on Motherjane Site as of March, 1st
and will be available for exclusive download through PEACE on April 12th.
Please view the Lyrics and Motherjane’s Suraj Mani’s account of the song here.
Review of Tribes of Babel by Shikhar Chaudhary of Rock Street Journal.

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