Monday, September 26, 2016

Buddhist Mantras with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

A couple of months ago I was looking for music similar to what I hear in some of the yoga classes that I attend several times a week. Mostly these are from singers such as Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, Wah! and Trevor Hall. While listening to songs come up on YouTube, I came across Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Since I do not listen to popular music at all, this group did not mean anything to me.

There are two songs, however, that are associated with this group has on YouTube that I have a hard time getting out of my head. The melody is part of it, but I think more important are the words and their significance from a Buddhist perspective.

The first song is "Every Part of You" - the singer, I later found out, is Aaron Embry (not Edward Sharpe/Alex Ebert, who is the guy drumming on his chest). The main chorus of the song is "Every part of your is another part of me" and it compares that to the rivers flowing into the sea. This is obviously aligned with the "not two" mantra that I wrote about previously. There are two version on YouTube: Version 1 (my favorite, embedded below),  Version 2,

The second song is "Do You Realize??", which is actually by The Flaming Lips (singer Wayne Coyne) - another group that I had not really known about, but is here performed with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (Edward Sharpe/Alex Ebert plays the bowl at the end). So again, not a song sung by Edward Sharpe/Alex Ebert. The main chorus is "Do you realize?", which is then answered in a number of ways, with the closing chorus being "That everyone you know someday will die." This song reminds me of the "this, too, shall pass" mantra that I also had written about. Awareness of death is, of course, on of the recommended five daily reflections taught by the Buddha. The song has some other Buddhist refrains, such as "that happiness makes you cry". This song was voted the official rock song of Oklahoma in 2009 -- apparently a very Buddhist state.

There are many versions of Do You Realize?? on YouTube, this is, in my opinion, the best one, by far...

There is one other Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros song that I also sometimes get stuck in my head -- and I think this one is actually sung by Alex Ebert (aka Edward Sharpe). It is "Man on Fire" and the video (below) may be part of why it sticks. Enjoy!