I freely admit that I was slow to get on the hip-hop-cultural-phenomenon train.  Though I was living right in the middle of a rap-is-taking-over-the-world community, I was going through my heavy metal phase.  I had no problem passing all the brothers with my long hair and death metal t-shirts on, and everyone had to respect an original so I never got picked on for it. Not that death metal t-shirts were original but in my neighborhood it wasn’t the thing.

For me it was a natural progression from Marvin Gaye and Dianna Ross to Michael Jackson and Prince to Bon Jovi and Duran Duran and then by the time I got to middle school it was all about Metallica and Megadeath.   But then, in 1987 Public Enemy teamed up with Anthrax to record Bring the Noise.  Suddenly the floodgates of Hip Hop potentiality opened and poured into my impressionable mind. It was the beginnings of a love that would never leave me.

By 1990 I had met Amma and reached a different stage in my life.  By then music became more than a release, it became a celebration.  In 1992 I was lucky enough to see Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in concert.  A friend brought me to the show as her music teacher was translating for Nusrat during his one year of guest lecturing at the University of Washington.  I had no idea what to expect when I walked in to see him perform and was completely blown away.

And then, of course, there is Amma, who completely transformed my relationship with music.  Music became a real means for me to transcend the endless moments of worldly clingings and breathe in a fresh new world of peace and love.  The video I’m sharing shows clearly Amma’s life commitment of giving all of herself through the love that she constantly engages in with everyone around her.

Though no translation is needed to convey the love clearly expressed, if you’re interested in the meanings, here are the translations of the two non-english songs:

Allah Hoo performed by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan:                                (taken from http://www.nusratonline.com)

When this earth and world did not exist
When there was no moon, sun or sky
When the secret of the truth was still unknown
When there was nothing, there was you
Everything is a reflection of your glory
Every thing cries out that you are the Lord
It is the distinction of your enthralling visage
You are the unrivalled Lord of the Universe
You who shows new beauty every instant
Surprises even those who yearn for more
Every sapling sings of your creation
Every leaf is a signature of your nature
My God, you are the splendor you promised
You are the curiosity, you are the desire
The light of my eyes, the voice of my heart
You were, you are, and will be only you


Mata Rani Performed by Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi):       (taken from http://www.dhyanamrita.blogspot.in/

The Empress of The Universe has showered Her grace,
All my wishes have come true.
The Divine Mother heard my prayers
All my wishes have come true

She has cleared all my paths,
Desires that were blocked have been fulfilled
My Mother,
My Mother has come to take my sorrows away
All my wishes have come true

The Empress of The Universe Herself has come running
She has poured all happiness into my pouch
My Mother,
My Mother heard my prayers
All my wishes have come true

Today My Mother has come to my house
I have taken a dip into the ocean of happiness
My Giver,
My Giver heard my prayers
All my wishes have come true


What songs do you flow with?


Written for Writing 101: three important songs in your life

Featured image via http://www.amritapuri.org


  1. You are so right. Allah Hoo is evergreen and the power and soul with which he sang makes it so enchanting.
    When we hear Amma sing, we can forget ourselves and immerse in that.
    we indeed are so blessed..


  2. When I was in school, I was pretty much smitten with Nusrat’s music. I didn’t have to wait to be introduced to him, if you know what I mean. That in retrospect, was one of the many benefits of being born in India 🙂

    Quit playing games was the first English song I ever really listened to. This was around the time MTV had only started playing English numbers. That’s when I was first introduced to Boyzone and Backstreet Boys and N-Sync.

    There was a soft rock phase, then grunge and metal, then country, and then hip hop. Right now, all I really like is EDM!


      1. That window for me would be driving. I can’t drive without music on. Also, I have to go out dancing at least once a week, and usually I go dancing and then to a karaoke – on the same night. Other than that, there’s no time for music throughout the week. Maybe when I retire!


  3. My introduction to hip hop was the Sugarhill Gang and then I watched as Run DMC teamed up with Aerosmith on a cover of Walk this way. I remember the stereo wars in our house where I blasted the Who, Boston, and Country Joe McDonald and the Fish in response to my little brother’s blasting Prince over and over again. Then I discovered Byzantine chant while discovering the grunge movement after everybody had moved on.


  4. Love this! Thanks for the introductions ! After all can’t stop the music!
    I usually mute the talking heads on sport shows and stream in music while I’m watching. I am absolutely sure I would not have survive life so far without music!


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