Friday, October 26, 2012

Peace Train

I have not listened to many of Cat Steven's music, but this one, Peace Train, a song from 1971 is possibly one of the best songs I have heard. The yearning for peace train is universal ,I believe, regardless of one's origins or politics.


Dolly Patton covered Peace Train in 1996 with memorable rendition.


In 2006, Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, sang the same song at the Nobel Prize concert at Oslo.


Lyrics of Peace Train:


Now I've been happy lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun

Oh, I've been smiling lately
Dreaming about the world as one
And I believe it could be
Some day it's going to come

'Cause out on the edge of darkness
There rides a peace train
Oh, peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Now I've been smiling lately
Thinking about the good things to come
And I believe it could be
Something good has begun

Oh, peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on the peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on the peace train

Get your bags together
Go bring your good friends too
'Cause it's getting nearer
It soon will be with you

Now come and join the living
It's not so far from you
And it's getting nearer
Soon it will all be true

Oh, peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on the peace train
Peace train

Now I've been crying lately
Thinking about the world as it is
Why must we go on hating
Why can't we live in bliss

'Cause out on the edge of darkness
There rides a peace train
Oh, peace train take this country
Come take me home again

Oh, peace train sounding louder
Glide on the peace train
Come on the peace train
Yes, peace train holy roller

Everyone jump upon the peace train
Come on, come on, come on
Yes, come on the peace train
Yes, it's a peace train

Come on the peace train
Oh peace train

An Old Song from Bangla Rock Band Miles

One nostalgic song from my past! I loved the music of Miles, a prominent Bangla rock band, composed of some great musicians and singers. I had the honor and privilege meeting with the band after a show in Montreal many years ago. They were awesome in live performance as they were in recorded music. I translated this Bangla song, which is a crude translation, not preserved the beauty of original poetic lyrics.


Din gelo abar di fire elo
Days are gone and days are returned

Shei tumi gele aar fire elena
That you went away and never returned

Kothae acho tumi kamon acho
Where are you and how are you

Akbaro kano tumi dekha dilena
Why weren't you seen atleast once

Din gelo abar din fire elo
Days are gone and days are returned

Amae chere jodi cholei jabe
If indeed you would leave me

Ishaaraae kano kache daakle
Why did you call me by gesture

Ato kache eshe bhalobeshe
So close you came with love

Ojaanae kano shore thakle
Why then have you stayed away in unknown

Jibonta amar bodle gelo
My life has changed

Shopnogulo aaj shunno holo
Dreams today have become empty

Tomar chokhe aaj duchokh rekhe
Today keeping my eyes on your eyes

Shukher araale biroho dekhi
I can see sadness hiding behind happiness

Abar notun kore ashbe tumi
Again you will come like a new way

Shei ashae poth cheye thaki
In that hope I longinly look toward the road

Je mon tomae bhalobeshechilo
The heart that loved you

Ager motoi aajo roye gelo
Remained the same like before



Sunday, October 21, 2012

George McGovern Ahead of His Time

Rest in peace George McGovern. A truly great American hero who had the courage and guts to tell the truth as it was, in plain but understood delivery, fought in second world war, knew the consequences of wars and violence, and stood fast against tyranny and corruption. He had lost election against Nixon in 1972, but "much of what George McGovern campaigned for in 1972 came to pass. Both major political parties have a system of nominating a president that is far more transparent, accountable and democratic than the systems that existed prior to 1972. McGovern was instrumental in rewriting the rules for selecting Democratic convention delegates to include women, minorities and young people. (Women, minorities and gays now have far more rights and protections than they did in 1972.)"

A few memorable quote from CNN's tribute to George McGovern: 
"...he was a man of great vision and grace. He helped to educate a generation about the failures of a rigid and untextured accounting of our allies and our enemies, and about the importance of making smart choices when dealing with dangerous adversaries. Those are lessons as important today as they were in 1970."
For the current sitting president he said, ""a moderate," cautious in his ways, who wouldn't waste money or do "anything reckless.... I think Barack will emerge as one of our great ones......It will be a victory for moderate liberalism."

I have read George McGovern's writings in his life's last decade. He was one of the founders of World Food Program, making his relentless contributions in helping to feed the hungry in US and around the world, and he never shied away to write for peace and against the wars and violence.

On October 21, 2012, the day he died, his family has released a statement, "We are blessed to know that our father lived a long, successful and productive life advocating for the hungry, being a progressive voice for millions and fighting for peace. He continued giving speeches, writing and advising all the way up to and past his 90th birthday, which he celebrated this summer."

As recent as in 2011, George McGovern was critical to his fellow democrats, stating, "If anything, I don't think the Democrats have been strong enough in clinging to their principle...You can say they were too ideological. Well, I don't think you hold political convictions just to be able to spout out a complicated philosophy or ideology. You try to support what you think is in the best interests of the country. My qualms with the Democrats in recent decades is they aren't strong enough in dissenting from policies that they should be able to see are against our best interest."

George McGovern did cling to democratic principles and firm convictions to the end. America and the world have lost a great man today.