Diamonds and Rust – Joan Baez

Joan Baez with Bob Dylan
Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. 08/28/1963

About 3 years ago Tinkerbell first introduced me to the works of Joan Baez, and soon ‘Diamonds and Rust’ by Baez made its way to my ‘Top 25 played songs’ in iPod/iTunes. In the song, written and performed in 1975, Baez recounts an out-of-the-blue phone call from an old lover, which sends her a decade back in time. If I try to summarize the song in one sentence, it will be –  “memories bring ‘diamonds and rust’”, i.e. time turns dirty charcoal into beautiful diamonds and shiny metal into ugly rust.

It is  believed that the song describes Baez’s relationship with Bob Dylan, ten years prior. The fact was confirmed by Baez herself during an interview with music writer Mike Ragogna.

MR: “Diamonds And Rust” was another magic moment. You’ve said when you began writing the song, it started as something else until Dylan phoned you. Then it became about him. That must have been one helluva call.

JB: He read me the entire lyrics to “Lily, Rosemary, And The Jack Of Hearts” that he’d just finished from a phone booth in the Midwest.

MR: What was the song about originally?

JB: I don’t remember what I’d been writing about, but it had nothing to do with what it ended up as.

But in Baez’s memoir, And a Voice to Sing With, she recounted how she told Dylan that the song was actually about her husband David Harris.

The following excerpt shows Baez’s rendition of this conversation between her and Dylan:

“You gonna sing that song about robin’s eggs and diamonds?” Bob had asked me on the first day of rehearsals.
“Which one?”
“You know, that one about blue eyes and diamonds…”
“Oh”, I said, “you must mean ‘Diamonds And Rust’, the song I wrote for my husband, David. I wrote it while he was in prison.”
“For your husband?” Bob said.
“Yeah. Who did you think it was about?” I stonewalled.
“Oh, hey, what the f*** do I know?”
“Never mind. Yeah, I’ll sing it, if you like.”

Here goes the lyrics of “Diamonds And Rust”

I’ll be damned

Here comes your ghost again

But that’s not unusual

It’s just that the moon is full

And you happened to call

And here I sit

Hand on the telephone

Hearing a voice I’d known

A couple of light years ago

Heading straight for a fall

As I remember your eyes

Were bluer than robin’s eggs

My poetry was lousy you said

Where are you calling from?

A booth in the midwest

Ten years ago

I bought you some cufflinks

You brought me something

We both know what memories can bring

They bring diamonds and rust

Well you burst on the scene

Already a legend

The unwashed phenomenon

The original vagabond

You strayed into my arms

And there you stayed

Temporarily lost at sea

The Madonna was yours for free

Yes the girl on the half-shell

Would keep you unharmed

Now I see you standing

With brown leaves falling around

And snow in your hair

Now you’re smiling out the window

Of that crummy hotel

Over Washington Square

Our breath comes out white clouds

Mingles and hangs in the air

Speaking strictly for me

We both could have died then and there

Now you’re telling me

You’re not nostalgic

Then give me another word for it

You who are so good with words

And at keeping things vague

Because I need some of that vagueness now

It’s all come back too clearly

Yes I loved you dearly

And if you’re offering me diamonds and rust

I’ve already paid


Shopno Dekhbo Bole (‘Cause I want to dream) by Mousumi Bhowmik [Bengali Song]

During the wild wild era of urban-folk-songs in Calcutta (90’s), apart from Sumon and Anjan, few other singers grabbed my attention. One of them is Mousumi Bhowmik. I really liked her album ‘Tumio Chil Hou’ (You become an eagle too). That’s a long time back. I left Calcutta, living in Singapore for last 8 years. Bengali song trend also changed from urban-folk songs to band music, but I still carry on the nostalgia in my iPod. Few days back I found this new (at least new to me) song by Mousumi – ‘Shopno Dekhbo Bole’ (‘Cause I want to dream) and got mesmerized by it!

“Shopno Dekhbo Bole” (‘Cause I want to dream)

by Mousumi Bhowmik


Here goes a real crappy, quick (almost literal) translation [please don’t hate me]

I’ve heard…that day, you went to touch the blue horizon
riding the waves

I’ve heard…that day, you walked alongside the salty shoreline
for miles after miles

I’ve never went to sea
never glided on blues
never glanced at the wings of a seagull

Next time, when you’ll go to the sea
will you take me along?

Will you?

I’ve heard…that day you, you and you
in an ensemble, discussed many complex conundrums
and unspoken words

Why this eternal rat-race?
Why endless series of monologues?

Living on, this self centered life
if there is no love
only empty loneliness

Where can I get a dollop of peace?

Where can I?

I’ve heard…that you still get dreams
still write stories
chant music from bottom of your soul

Saga of human existence
still makes you think

Your love blossom like a rose

Today I am here at your doorstep
with this faithless soul, open arms
and bending knees…

Only emptiness in deep of my eyes,
there are no dreams in my nights

To dream I opened my eyes
to dream I opened my arms
towards you

Bengali Lyrics:

Ami shunechhi shedin tumi shagorer dheu-e chepe
Neel jol digonto chhuye eshechho
Ami shunechhi shedin naki nona bali teer dhore bohudur bohudur hete eshechho ..
Ami kokhono jaini jol-e
kokhono bhashini neel-e
Kokhono rakhini chokh dana mela gangchil-e
Abar jedin tumi shomudrosnan-e jaabe,
Amakeo shathe niyo … nebe to amay?
bolo … nebe to amay?
Ami shunechhi shedin naki tumi, tumi, tumi mile
Tomra shodolbole shobha korechhile –
Ar shedin tomra naki onek jotil dhadha,
Na bola onek kotha, kotha tulechhile
Kano shudhu chhute chhute chola,
Ak-i ak-i kotha bola,
Nijer jonno bacha nijeke niye?
Jodi bhalobasha naai thake,
Shudhu aka aka laage,
Kothay shanti pabo … kothay giye?
bolo … kothay giye?

Ami shunechhi tomra naki akhono shopno dekho,
Akhono golpo lekho,
Gaan gaao pran bhore
Manusher bachamora akhono bhabiye tole,
tomader bhalobasha akhono golap-e phote
Astha harano ei mon niye ami aaj
Tomader kachhe eshe du haat petechhi
Ami du chokher gohbor-e shunnota dekhi shudhu
Raat ghum-e ami kono shopne dekhi na …
Tai shopno dekhbo bole .. ami du chokh petechhi
Tai tomader kachhe eshe .. ami du haat petechhi
Tai shopno dekhbo bole .. ami du chokh petechhi

My lost friend

Mil gaya woh
Jo churake
meri aankhon se neendiyan
le gaya tha

Duur ek gaon hai
wahan thandi chaon hai
behti nadiyaan hai
jaana hai nadiyaan ke paar

Kare mera intezaar
mera bichda yaar
mera bichda yaar

A song by Pakistani band Strings. Not a new song…I heard this song first on MTV Roadies show (Maybe I heard it before too, but didn’t paid much attention). Liked it, saved it, and forgot it. By chance, I found this again and can’t stop listening ever since. Love the lyrics. Actually I posted it to share with BBB who likes my choice of song rarely. 😦

Watch it here:

Laari choote from Ek chalis ki last local

The latest song that caught my attention is Laari Choote, the theme music of the movie Ek chalis ki last local. Picturised on Abhay Deol and Neha Dhupia, this song is sung, composed, and written by Xulfi, the lead guitarist of the Pakistani rock band “Call”. I don’t know why I always get attracted to music by Pakistani bands/singers. 😛

Interspersed with Abhay Deol’s narration, this Sufi rock-based music is catchy and the lyrics as well is interesting. Ek chalis ki last local is a plot-driven movie in which the life of the protagonist changes drastically in matter of hours. This song summarizes the mood of the movie and is about the unpredictability of life.

Few days back, I shared this song with a friend who was in low mood due to one particular incident in her life and she liked the lyrics…I knew she had to like it with lyrics like this:

Karlo jo bhi karna hai
hota hai jo hona hai
Guzra do pal yeh phir na aayega
Kya bura hai kya bhala hai
Waqt hi shayad khuda hai
Ho jaane do phir
Dekha jaayega

When I inquired a couple of friends about the meaning of laari or laree as in laari choote/laree choote, none could tell. I would be happy if anybody who knows the meaning of the word leaves a comment here.

Unfortunately, the video for this track is not up to the mark. Instead of the routine dance, the choreographer could have made it more realistic and situational. But dunno if it is actually picturized in the same way in the movie also or just it’s like this in the promotional video. Ignore the video if you don’t like and enjoy this youtube video of this song:

Click here to watch the Pakistani Version of the video, featuring Call the band themeselves, along with Abhay Deol and Neha Dhupia here.

Coincidentally apart from this song, the other new song I like these days also features Neha Dhupia – a song with likeable country flavor –“Kitni dair tak” from Delhi heights.

Read on for the full lyrics of Laree Chooti:

Woh kehte hai na jo hota hai
acchey ke liye hota hai…

Galat kehte hai

Kismat ka khel hai saara
Phirta tha main awaara
Yeh kya se kya hogaya
Chaar din ki zindagaani
har pal ek nayi kahaani
Kya tha main kya bangayaa

Kya huwa jo laree chooti
Jeevan ki gaadi luuti
Khwab hai to mujhko na jaga
Zindagi ek pal mein saali
Yun palat gayi hamaari
Jhuth hai to mujhko na bata

Mumbai sunaa tha yahan aadmi puuri zindagi apni kismet
slow track se fast track lane mein nikaal deta hai
par dhai ghante mein yeh kisko pata tha
aise slow track se fast track par aa jayegi yeh maine kabhi socha nahin tha
Sazaa majaa ban jayegi yeh bhi kabhi socha nahin tha
Last local kya chuuti saala kismet patri par aa gayi

Karlo jo bhi karna hai
hota hai jo hona hai
Guzra do pal yeh phir na aayega
Kya bura hai kya bhala hai
Waqt hi shayad khuda hai
Ho jaane do phir
Dekha jaayega

Kya huwa jo laree chooti
Jeevan ki gaadi luuti
Khwab hai to mujhko na jagaa
Zindagi ek pal mein saali
Yun palat gayi hamaari
Jhuth hai to mujhko na bataa – 2

Woh kehte hai na jo hota hai
acchey ke liye hota hai…

Sahi kehte hai

Update (18th April, 07)

Few minutes before, I was studying something and didn’t thought I would be translating this. Now that I ended up translating, so I thought – why don’t I post it…

Translation of Laari Choote (mostly non- verbatim translation, not so good one though)

Everything is just a game of fate
I was just a wanderer in my carefree life
Who would have known life would bring me here?
What was I and what I’ve become now…
For every moment is an unpredictable new story
But Life is a short journey…

So why to bother if I miss the train
Why to worry if my life is crushed
It took just a moment…
for my damned life to become topsy-turvy
If it is dream, don’t wake me up from it
If this is lie, don’t verify it..let it be..

One is helpless in the face of Destiny
My deeds and wants do not count much
Destined events will inevitably happen
Let past problems stay in the past;
And not let them taint the present…
For moments don’t return
What went wrong, what went right?
Who can decide…
Coz only time seems to be the Lord of all
So, whatever happens,
Let it be…
Let me face it…

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bodhiTree : a great hindi band!

Tinkerbell sent me this awesome song by a lesser-known Hindi campus band bodhiTree – Sabka Katega

I heard the song and was blown away! It’s way better than the hullabaloos from the stupid music channels of your idiot box! bodhiTree, is a band from XLRI Jamshedpur.

More about them and few more songs download at Jam Mag

bodhiTree is…
Poornima Dore – Drums
Jishnu Dasgupta – Bass/ Vocals
Bharat Rajagopalan – Guitar
Abhishek Narain – Guitar/ Vocals
Satadru Bagchi – Vocals
Shambhavi Kumar – Vocals
Dhananjay Mishra – Vocals

Don’t smoke sutta!

When I saw one music video called Sutta Mix, “Don’t smoke sutta“, which is doing the rounds of music channels these days, the tune sounded familiar. I googled for the lyrics and found that this anti-smoking sutta mix is actually a video response to a pakistani solo “Sutta na mila” by Zeest, which is dedicated to all the smokers and dopers. The remix version by DJ Shezwood is performed by Saru Maini and features Meghna Naidu in the video. The original sutta song is very popular among college students in India (I’m not one, so I never heard the song before 😛 ).

I read that “Sutta na mila” has a liberal usage of hindi swear words, so it was not showed in music channels in India. Even interviews of the band by The Hindustan Times and Star news were blocked. Curious me checked out the lyrics. Geez!! It’s funny but it really has lots of extreme abusive words towards the end specially.

The pakistani band Zeest, who performed the original, is angered by the remixed version, which has been made without their consent.

Sutta na mila” had become a hot underground college hit. Sutta lovers are blasting the remixed version and even has a sutta remix hate club communty on orkut (well nothing new, there are hate clubs about all possible things on Orkut)

As I’m totally against smoking, I actually liked the whole idea of a video response with a message to quit smoking, as opposed to the original Smoker’s anthem, but at least they could have made a better one with original tunes and better video, not just a cheesy pirated version.

I didn’t like the remixed version, but it is playing on my head, thanks to the constant ramming from the channels. Also, I’m angry after reading the lyrics of the original one as BBB is also a smoker, who has still didn’t quit completely even after so many rounds of lectures from me. Hmmmm I’m actually tired of years of convincing smokers to quit smoking. 😐

Sutta– Colloquial Indian term for Cigarette.

Read further for the lyrics

Continue reading

Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan

In the past few years, Pakistani music has made a huge impact in Indian music industry. Two artists from across the border, which really caught my attention in recent times, are Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

ShafqatShafqat Amanat Ali is the vocal force behind the Pakistani band Fuzon and his voice is taking him places. Shafqat Amanat Ali is the son of one of Pakistan’s legendary classical singers, Ustad Amanat Ali Khan of the renowned Patiala Gharana.

I was mesmerized when I first heard the songs from the Sagar album by Fuzon. The songs from this album had modern arrangements with traditional melodies and had titles like Khamaj, Malhaar and Madhvanti to create an awareness of classical raagas among the youth. I got an instant liking of the songs when the music video hit the music channels.

Two of the songs from the album, Mora Saiyaan (Khamaj) and Tere Bina, were included in the Nagesh Kukunoor movie Hyderabad Blues 2. Mora Saiyaan is too tough to even hum for a non-singer like me but I can’t just get enough of listening to that number.

Recently, Shafqat Amanat Ali sang the popular number Mitwa from the Karan Johar movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. This song stands apart from the rest of the track with his powerful and controlled singing and good lyrics. I’ve listened to it many times and it still finds its place on my most played list.

Yeh Honsla from the movie Dor is another good song rendered immaculately by the same singer. Though not commercially popular as his earlier numbers, this inspiring number is a treat for music lovers. I’m sure Nagesh Kukunoor is a fan of Shafqat Amanat Ali Khan 😉 beacuse Shafqat’s songs have been featured in his two movies Hyderabad Blues 2 and Dor.

Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is the son of Farrukh Fateh Ali Khan and nephew of the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. He’s been known as the successor to the great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Though Rahat does carry shades of Nusrat, he has a presence of his own which definitely leaves a mark.

Rahat Fateh Ali Khan captivated the listeners with his immensely popular number Mann Ki Lagan in Paap and Jiya Dhadak Dhadak from Kalyug. I fell in love with this melodic single ‘Mann ki Lagan’ the minute I heard it. ‘Mann Ki Lagan’ had become a bigger hit than the film itself.

One track Jiya Dhadak Dhadak from his album Charkha was featured in Kalyug, which I feel is absolutely beautiful love songs in recent time.

Most recent rendition by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is the song Naina from Omkara. Though the brilliance of this song was not realized by the masses, the superb rendition by the vocal God cannot go unnoticed.

Though these are the only three numbers I heard from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, they are thousand times better than innumerable craps that are being churned out regularly by a particular music director in the name of Sufi songs.

I hope music lovers get to hear many more captivating numbers from these two singers and they get the recognition they truly deserve.


Latest song by Rahat Fateh Anil Khan that caught my attention is ’Main jahaan rahoon’ from ’Namaste London’. Music is by Himesh Reshammiya and lyrics by Javed Akhtar. Though I’m not a fan of Himesh, I feel it’s one of his best composition. Rendition by Rahat is superb. Good that he thought of making Rahat sing this, not himself. 😉

Here’s an excerpt from an article from India glitz about this song:

Although, people will feast on ‘Chakna Chakna’, ‘Rafta Rafta’, ‘Dilruba’ and ‘Aanan Faanan’, I think the best song is ‘Main Jahan Rahoon’. Magnificently sung by Rahat Fath Ali Khan and ably supported by Krishna, this sufi song boasts of a good mix of classical effectiveness as well as wonderful strings arrangements in the background. Javed Akhtar’s lyrics are an asset for taking the song on a different level. Thankfully Himesh didn’t sing this number. For, although his voice is good but an overexposure of anything leads to a lack of novelty value.

Here’s hoping Himesh will extract good work from quality singers and use his own voice selectively.

So true 🙂