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about

No Stranger Here is inspired by the poetry of the 16th century Indian poet Kabir, from the Bhakti movement (500-1700 AD) that swept across India as a rebellion against religious orthodoxy and caste distinctions, propagating peace, harmony and love - an ancient movement as relevant now as it was then.

Expressed across time by lovers, artists, saints and devotees, humanity is no stranger to the search for higher ground, the ecstasy and pain of earthly or divine love, of being a stranger in a familiar world, seeking sublimation through artistic expression.

With individual sensitivity, respect and deep artistic understanding of their own and different cultures, Shubha Mudgal, Ursula Rucker and Business Class Refugees come together in distinct diversity to unite with the timeless, spiritual voice of humanity.

credits

released February 14, 2012

Released by EarthSync India
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Released in North America by Black Swan
whiteswanrecords.com
blackswanrecords.com (coming soon)
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Arranged by: Patrick Sebag and Yotam Agam
Sound Design, Mixing and Mastering By Patrick Sebag
and Yotam Agam @ Clementine Studios, Chennai, India

All Music, Lyrics and Arrangements
Published By EarthSync India Pvt. Ltd.
All Rights Reserved.
© & (P) 2011 EarthSync India Pvt. Ltd

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all rights reserved
Track Name: Seraphim Tones
Sing, my prayers in seraphim tones

Paused at the crossroads
Of the station
Waiting for my lover to arrive
And meet me again
Heart
Leaping, bounds…and beats,
With each, bell, and whistle
Hope my love, is in his will
What must I do?
To quicken this moment of reunion
This moment of healing
Of renewal
This moment, of enlightenment
Of sheer joy
Heaven sent
Shall I, pray
Will my plea be seen as just cliché?
Shall I lay, prostrate?
As I await

Sing, my prayers in seraphim tones
I feel powerless,
Restless,
Consumed, with sadness
Without my lovers embrace
And protection
I teeter in limbo
Walk, a fine line
Between passion and the divine
Pine
For balance
Long for clarity
Desire for no desire
No need
Dream, of sweet and utter fulfillment
There seems to be no refuge
No ear that will truly hear
The story of my yearning,

My discontentment,
I spurn all advances, all attempts
To earn, my heart
My soul,
My love,
So, shall I pray

Sing, my prayers in seraphim tones

Till I am alone,
No more,
So shall I pray

Ursula Rucker

***

Without my love
My heart hurts with longing
The day holds no peace for me
Nights are without sleep
To whom can I explain this
immense sadness?

Without my love
Without my love

Saint Kabir
Sung by Shubha Mudgal
Track Name: Drunk In Love/Diwaana
My mind is drunk with love
I sold myself into His hands
Surrendering to Him
Makes my mind drunk with love
Track Name: Steadfast
This love
This, love

This love,
Is not for sale,
Nor is it to be toyed with
It is delicate and humble,
But also, sturdy and grand,
So don’t be fooled

This love
This, love

And the true fullness, of this love
In all of its grace and charity, and
imperfect perfection
Is meant veritably, for only one,
And most likely, too potent
In its highest form
For any other

This love is spoiled, and greedy
And highly expectant,
Like a coddled child,
Even in its maturity
Sometimes lashing out in defiant tantrum,
When assumed shunned
This love…
Is complicated

And even in the midst of confident revolt,
This love offers up contrition
For unpleasing, unworthiness
The human heart is so contrary
And wondrous,
And very easily broken
Both blessed
And cursed
Perfect house,
For so fickle a thing,
As

This love is content and comforted,
Most assuredly when the sacred object
of its adulation,
Seems to find favor with
For unpleasing, unworthiness
This love,
Is always challenged,
By the reality that,
The gift of sacred love takes patience,
And faith,
And effort,
and sacrifice,
And is ever changing
in its infinite and beautiful
Steadfastness

Ursula Rucker

***

My love is not talking to me
There’s a big knot in the thread
of our relationship
My love is not talking to me
If I had known it would come to this
Why would I have fallen in love,
wasted my love
and longing on Him?

Saint Kabir
Sung by Shubha Mudgal
Track Name: When I Was / Jab Mein Tha
When I was
There was no God
When there is God
I ceased to exist
All darkness was wiped away
When I saw the lamp of knowledge
glow within me

Saint Kabir
Sung by Shubha Mudgal
Track Name: A Stranger Here
Nomad,
Vagabond,
Bedouin am I
Traveller, journey woman
Trekking geographical terrain,
Seeking spiritual domain,
No home for me in the mundane
trivial pursuits
Mediocrity and blissful ignorance,
fake comfort,
cardboard houses, low living

In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground

Secular boudoirs call out to me,
Say,

Come lay here,
Come rest here,
Come numb your senses here,
In this bed of fear,
And temporal pleasures,
And captivity,
Until you no longer wish to be
Free
So what like minds and souls,
Will understand and join me on
this quest,
Despite the land
So vast and desolate at times,
Dry and unyielding,
Nothing growing,
Prospering, meaning only one thing
At times
Moist and fecund
Over flowing,
Flowering,
Nourishing,
Full with knowing
Close my eyes,
See the earth,
Spread out before me,
Hills, and rivers,

My lasting place
This provisional place dissatisfies me
Too false and flighty sometimes,
Too fearsome too faithless,
Oftentimes
Concerns of flesh and bone
They plague me,
A necessity of humanity,
But still
They plague me,
In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground
Where is my place?
Long to be
Free,
Long to be
Free,
In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground
Where is my place?
Ursula Rucker
PARDESI
I am a stranger here
Ravines, and meadows,
All
Close my eyes,
Envision heaven,
Comfort,
Peace,
Grace and glory,
All

Looking for my place,
Where is my place

In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground

Where is my place?

Looking for my place,
Where is my place

My lasting place
This provisional place dissatisfies me
Too false and flighty sometimes,
Too fearsome too faithless,
Oftentimes
Concerns of flesh and bone
They plague me,
A necessity of humanity,
But still
They plague me,

In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground

Where is my place?

Long to be
Free,
Long to be
Free,
In search of higher ground,
Need to move to higher ground

Where is my place?

Ursula Rucker
Track Name: Something Is Still Missing
I was pondering that,
Some may think a, thing is
Satisfying
Fulfilling
Only to wake up and find that
Something is still missing

Ever-visiting places of ponderance
And on one of those visits
I decided
That my relationship with the universe
Does not depend upon
Your approval and correspondence
However
It might be nice if you
Were helpful, nurturing
Human even
If you would just

Open your mind
Open your heart
Crave the truth
Open your eyes
Widen your view

Stop doing only as they do
Take some head to what’s going
on around you
And not just in your living room
Don’t wait for the big bomb to go boom
Before, you
Realize that your sincere participation
would have made a difference
In the outcome
Because some

May think a thing is
Satisfying
Fulfilling
Only to wake up and find that
Something
Is still missing

Yes
Some may think a thing is
Satisfying
Fulfilling
Only to wake up and find that
Something
Is still missing

And even though I am ever-visiting places of ponderance
And I still feel that my relationship with the universe
Does not rely
On your approval
And correspondence
I don’t want to have an epiphany
When all is over
And I’m wondering
Where all the time went
So I’m gonna use this space and time to vent
Knowing that my views
And my thoughts
Are occasionally
And to some
Uncomfortable
And unpleasant
But comfort doesn’t always signify peace
It can also be a sign
Or effect of dangerous complacency
That place
Where lack of knowledge
And intolerance meet
That place where wars and justice
and dumbing down abound

So, awake
Awaken
Hear the trumpet sound

Some may think a thing is
Satisfying
Fulfilling
Only to wake up and find that
Something
Is still missing

Ursula Rucker
Track Name: Above All Else
O Kareem I offer all I have to your sovereignty
For the many marvels, the diversity you create
from the same dust

Water studs in the middle of the sky,
an upturned ocean,
You created radiance, moon and stars

All manner of men, the most wise and the
ordinary, the priest and scholars,
None can unravel your mysteries,
Seeking to unravel your mysteries,
they turn mad, drunk

Kabir says, after having thought
over this deeply,
O God! O God! You alone are the
one friend I have in the world.

Saint Kabir
Sung by Shubha Mudgal
Track Name: Outsider / Pardesi
I am a stranger here
Who can I call out to?
I have no one
There is no one here for me
Who can I call out to in this
strange land?
I have no-one

Saint Kabir
Sung by Shubha Mudgal