Manu Chao in concert, playing an electric guitar

Manu Chao: Musicians “Playing For Change.”

Dark days are upon us in far too many directions, both domestically and globally: from ethnic cleansings to massive poverty, hunger, no access to clean water, lack of health care, wars of choice and Empire…and more. And no, it didn’t have to be this way, and our task now seems to be to find a way through the morass, both individually and collectively, beginning anew when we falter and succumb to lassitude or depression, or even submerging into the dark and failing to appreciate what beauty and glories are available.  Camus called it a possible sin against life to do so.

If you live where you’re able to see the night sky, when it’s dark enough, go outdoors and look to the south toward the horizon, and gaze at the constellation Scorpio, a giant lazy J of a fishhook laid out before you; to the east of her is Sagittarius, and the Big Dipper is overhead and a bit to the north. The Milky Way is starting to rise again, and although faint just now, allows us to see the edge of our own galaxy, and she wondrously displays to us what small specks of stardust we actually are.

This is the ‘About’ page describing the Playing for Change movement that was created to inspire and connect the world through music, and to break down boundaries and overcome distances between people. Mark Johnson, co-founder. (and h/t hotflashcarol for the new ones) The global Indigenous have foretold that humanity is on the cusp of an evolutionary leap toward higher purpose and consciousness, and most days I believe that they are right, and that as more of us see and know the dark, we will collectively offer one another reaching hands, and head toward the light. In concert, we are powerful, ‘they’ are few, and when we cooperate and empathize with one another, love each other as a choice, we can and must build a better, more just world. Song and dance and the celebration of life is key, as are art, poetry, and story-telling, especially our own stories.

Enjoy the music, and the folk at PFC advise: play it loud, boogie as you can!

La Bamba’, featuring David Hidalgo and Cesar Rosas of Los Lobos, Andres Calamaro and La Marisoul, Baby-Black Ndome from Kinsha.  You’ll fall in love with Mariosoul and Baby-Black, the harp player…and the children, I guaran-damn-tee it.

Reggae Got Soul’, with Toots Hibbert, Taj Mahal, Ernest Ranglin

Yahamba Live in Australia

Guantanamara’, featuring Carlos Varela in Havana and it features over 75 Cuban musicians around the world, from Havana and Santiago to Miami, Barcelona and Tokyo, produced by Jackson Browne.

‘Words of Wonder/ Get Up Stand Up’, featuring Keith Richards in collaboration with Roberto Luti, Titi Tsira and a number of worldwide musicians on a rendition of his reggae song, “Words of Wonder”, leading into a cover of Bob Marley’s  “Get Up, Stand Up,” featuring Keb’ Mo’, Mermans Mosengo, Aztec Indians, Natalie Pa’apa’a of Blue King Brown, and Jamaican singer Sherita Lewis”

Marvin Gaye’s  ‘What’s Going On’, with an acoustic guitar in Africa, James Gadson in Los Angeles, electric guitar and bass on the streets of Chicago and strings in Serbia, stirring in world musicians and PFC Band members, plus amazing vocals.

The jaunty rhythms and pace of ‘Clandestino’ belie the plaintive lyrics, and features Oud master in Morocco and gypsies in Budapest, song Manu Chao and friends, and jams across the globe in honor of people who want to create a better world. You’ll love the Mendellssohn Chamber Players in Budapest, the architecture, the instruments … well, all of it.

The lyrics in English seem to be more relevant than ever right now, given so many Clandestinos fleeing from the horrors in their nations, aided in part by ‘the Great Babylon.’

Clandestine

I come only with my punishment
There comes only my conviction
Running is my fate
In order to deceive the law
Lost in the heart
Of the great Babylon
They call me the Clandestine
’cause I don’t carry any identity papers

To a northern city
I went for work
I left my life behind
Between Ceuta and Gibraltar
I’m a just a rake on the sea
A ghost in the city
My life is prohibited
Says the authority

I come only with my punishment
There comes only my conviction
Running is my fate
’cause I don’t carry any identity papers
Lost in the heart
Of the great Babylon
They call me the Clandestine

I’m the sellout of law
Clandestine Black Hand
Peruvian Clandestine
African Clandestine
Marijuana illegal

I come only with my punishment
There comes only my conviction
Running is my fate
In order to deceive the law
Lost in the heart
Of the great Babylon
They call me the Clandestine
’cause I don’t carry any identity papers

Algerian Clandestine
Nigerian Clandestine
Bolivian Clandestine
Black Hand illegal

 

This is Playing for Change’s ’10 songs that will change your life’ compilation.

Cross-posted at Café-Babylon.net

Photo by Paul Familetti released under a Creative Commons license.