The Tribes of Babel

On March 1st 2010, Motherjane released Tribes of Babel for Amnesty International’s worldwide compilation album on something that man has always sought –PEACE. I’ve been writing this blog in my mind for a week. None of the words seemed to be apt and no explanations satisfied me. I decided to write it down because if I search for better words, I probably cannot publish it. Here is my view about the song.


The philosopher in Suraj this time gave us a “Sadya”. At first I found difficulty in understanding the complete meaning, and when understood, I couldn’t resist myself from hearing it again and again. My favorite part in the lyrics is the four lines below.

“The tribes of Babel, the angels sent on
With the 1st and 5th note in every song
To paint graffiti without walls, in the air
Stairways to heaven, for the truly aware”

I think this portion is the core part as it holds the purpose of the song. The Tribes of Babel, the people in the city of Babylon. The land where all men spoke the same language until they decided to build a tower to reach the heavens. As the tower rose, God realized that if mankind were to go on like this, there would be nothing that they couldn’t do and sent his angels to confuse the tongues of the people. Without a common language to bind them the people abandoned Babel to be scattered all over the world.

But Motherjane views this in a different perspective. They want to believe that God sent down with his angels, the real stairs to heaven – the 1st and 5th note in every song. Something to bind all tribes, a beauty forever highlighted by our differences of language, culture, creed etc.

When we hear somebody speaking about peace and harmony, the normal statement will be: “We should forget our differences”. But motherjane says it differently. “Celebrate our differences!”  By stating that everyone is different like the 1st and 5th note of a song, they remind us how beautiful our uniqueness is. I loved the usage “graffiti without walls”. Yes. That is what music is. The stairways to heaven.

I’m quoting a fan’s words about Suraj: “When this guy says something, the world have to listen!”


The starting of the song seemed little bit of a sad mood to me. But everything changed when it reached the line “The tribes of babel”. From that moment it became a call. A call for peace. Suraj – The Singing Sensei was rock solid in his voice rendition. Beware! Baiju – The God of Small Strings doing his carnatic magic will captivate you. Rhythm section was exceptionally powerful this time, great job by Deepu. The killer bass line by Clyde and the heavy beats from John will keep your heads banging throughout the song.

A portion of the song 4.17 to 4.48 requires a special mention. I never heard a similar riff before. Bows to you!

Eagerly waiting for the high bit-rate track which will be available for free download on April. So everybody, on the queue behind me! I’ll be the first one to get it 🙂


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