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Re: REQUEST : hinduism and rock music

Posted By Vanyo, Bill (vanyo@ezaccess.net)
Sat, 18 Jan 1997 07:12:53 GMT

"Shikha" <sakl0001@gold.tc.umn.edu> wrote:

>I'm writing an article on Hindu themes/images in western rock and pop music
>and I am having trouble finding detailed information. Some Rock bands have
>Hindu Names (e.g. Nirvana, Vishnu's secret, etc.), others use Hindu imagery
>in their lyrics and videos (e.g. Tom Petty, Joan Osborne, etc.) Do you know
>of any others? Has any one read any articles on this topic? If so could you
>point me in the right direction? Any suggestions are most welcome!

>Thanks,

>SM
>sakl0001@gold.tc.umn.edu

>Mail posts to: ghen@netcom.com : http://www.hindunet.org/srh_home/

First, you should know that Hindu themes/images have been present in
rock music since (my guess/estimate) the mid 60's, and the Hindu
influence is related/connected (though I'm being ambiguous as to
exactly how) with the psychedelic drug culture influence.

>From my own modest music collection:

The Beatles album "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" (1967) has a
song entitled "Within You Without You" which has a distinct Indian
influence, both in the music and lyrics. It's the only song on the
album written by George Harrison, who later went on to write "My Sweet
Lord", a beautiful song, still popular, with obvious Hindu influence.
I've attached the lyrics at the end of this post.

The album cover of The Jimi Hendrix Experience album "Axis: Bold as
Love" (1967) was based on Hindu imagery, though the music resembles
nothing Hindu - indeed nothing that existed before it.

Lesser known, The Moody Blues album "In Search of the Lost Chord"
(1968) has a song entitled "OM", very tranquil and worth a listen -
again very definite Hindu influence. This album also contains the
song "Legend of a Mind", which venerates the late Dr. Timothy Leary
(well known LSD "guru").

Even lesser known (and my personal favorite) is the two record set by
'Yes', entitled "Tales from Topographic Oceans". 'Yes' was a rather
well known band, but this album was way over the heads of most popular
rock music fans, and was never very popular. It consists of four
songs, each about 20 minutes long (another reason for it's lack of
popular appeal). Notes in the album cover indicate the entire work
was inspired by a lengthy footnote in Paramhansa Yoganada's
"Autobiography of a Yogi", that footnote describing a "four part
Shastric Scripture" (Shrutis, Suritus, Puranas, Tantras). The music
is beautiful and deeply spiritual (to my listening), though not always
easy listening (like life). It is my personal favorite classical rock
album. You won't hear (at least I don't) any Hindu influence in the
music though, and the lyrics are totally abstract (as with almost all
lyrics by 'Yes').

Well, there you have it. Here's the George Harrison lyrics:
-------------------------------------------------------------------
George Harrison
My Sweet Lord

My sweet Lord
Mm, my Lord
Mm, my Lord

I really want to see you
Really want to be with you
Really want to see you, Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord

My sweet Lord
Mm, my Lord
Mm, my Lord

I really want to know you
I really want to go with you
Really want to show you, Lord
That it won't take long, my Lord Hallelujah

My sweet Lord Hallelujah
Mm, my Lord Hallelujah
My sweet Lord Hallelujah

I really want to see you
Really want to see you
Really want to see you Lord
Really want to see you Lord
But it takes so long, my Lord Hallelujah

My sweet Lord Hallelujah
Mm, my Lord Hallelujah
My my my Lord Hallelujah

I really want to know you Hallelujah
I really want to go with you Hallelujah
Really want to show you, Lord Ahh
That it won't take long, my Lord Hallelujah

Mm, mm Hallelujah
My sweet Lord Hallelujah
My my Lord Hallelujah

Mm, my Lord Hare Krishna
My my my Lord Hare Krishna
Oh, my sweet Lord Krishna Krishna
Ooh, ooh Hare Hare

Now, I really wanna see you Hare Rama
Really wanna be with you Hare Rama
Really wanna see you, Lord Ahh
But it takes so long, my Lord Hallelujah

My Lord Hallelujah
My my my Lord Hare Krishna
My sweet Lord...
Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Guru Rama, Guru Vishnu, Guru
Deva, Hare Shwara, Guru Sasha, Hare Andara, Tashna Shrivi, Guri Nava,
Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare

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