Carrie Newcomer blends our melodies East and West

See the brilliant golden scarf blowing in the wind on the front cover of Carrie Newcomer’s latest album?
Envision that scarf circling the world and connecting the spiritual hopes of men and women everywhere. The golden fabric is a metaphor for the new music that Newcomer and her collaborators, the Khan family, are weaving with colorful threads from American folk and Indian classical traditions.
“Music is a common thread,” says Amjad Ali Khan, a world-renowned Indian musician and a chief collaborator.

These new lyrics weave images. The title song, Everything Is Everywhere, begins with vivid images of lentils, rice and hot-spiced tea in a typical Indian market—but quickly takes us halfway around the world to booths at an Indiana farmer’s market close to Newcomer’s home. Then, the music is performed on both American folk and Indian classical instruments, mainly the sarod, the specialty of the Khan family.

What does this East-West collaboration sound like?


ReadTheSpirit just welcomed popular Buddhist teacher Jack Kornfield to talk about his new book, A Lamp in the Darkness. In the course of our interview, Jack talked about choosing uplifting music as an important way to shape our spiritual path. Here is what he said:
The music we play in our homes is part of the way we create sanctuary and refuge and this makes a huge difference. We are forming our inner sound track, the inner songs and voices we want to keep playing for ourselves. There is a New Yorker cartoon that shows a car crossing the Yukon and a sign says: Your Own Tedious Thoughts—Next 200 Miles. Some inner sound tracks are full of confusion and despair. Mark Twain once said: “My life has been full of terrible misfortunes—most of which never happened.” We can remain lost in fear and despair, or we can make a point of intentionally building our inner sound track. The music that we play is part of this. The very cells in our body can be nourished by music.


We will publish our interview with Carrie Newcomer later this week, but here is one of Carrie’s descriptions of music’s influence In our lives and our global community:
With music and with story, people leave their hearts open just a little longer. They want to hear that song. That’s what I find. We could climb up on soap boxes and start expounding about the world—and people would close their doors right away. But if we greet them with a human-sized song and story, people will leave their hearts open just a little bit longer. They are willing to join you for a moment, to swim around in the music—and maybe discover this new water isn’t so bad!

To mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, we published the lyrics to one song from this new album.
Today, we’re sharing the lyrics of the title song …

Everything is Everywhere

Words and Music by Carrie Newcomer

MARKETS AROUND THE WORLD: Top, a colorful market stall in India. Bottom, a farmers’ market in the American Midwest. Both images in public domain. Courtesy Wikimedia Commons.There were lentils, rice and hot-spiced tea,
The sunset on the Arabian Sea,
Women swayed in yellows, blues and greens,
The finest thing I’ve seen.

There’s rhythm to the rains they come and go,
I heard Bollywood and Dylan on the radio,
The driver’s quoting Sufi poetry,
There’s ribbons tied around the trees.

Would it be so wrong, could it be that bad,
To hope for a little more happy than sad?
This is more that I can hold or bare,
Cause everything is everywhere.

On Saturdays in Indiana,
There’s a farmer’s market in my town,
There’s always music, kids and corn and beans,
The finest thing that I’ve ever seen.

When I was troubled a good friend stopped by,
She brought some soup and then she sat awhile,
Love is love it’s here and there,
Everything is everywhere.

Would it be so wrong, could it be that bad,
To hope for a little more happy than sad?
This is more that I can hold or bare,
Cause everything is everywhere.

There is still so much work to do,
Armloads of sorrow yes, this is true,
But I take heart when I despair,
Miracles are everywhere.

I like sweet salt, soda lime,
I love the patterns of flowers and vines,
From the train I watch the new moon rise,
The reflection of my grateful eyes.

Would it be so wrong, could it be that bad,
To hope for a little more happy than sad?
This is more that I can hold or bare,
Cause everything is everywhere.

Remember: You can pre-order Everything is Everywhere from Amazon now.

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Originally published at, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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