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Apr 02
Thursday
Arts and Poetry, Video, Audio, Photos
Father Death Blues by Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg sings “Father Death Blues,” a poem originally written at his father’s death. Now more than twenty years after Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s passing into parinirvana, it can also be read as a vibrant, truthful, extremely touching and beautiful hommage to Trungpa Rinpoche. This video comes from an interview which was broadcast by the BBC on a program called: “Face to Face” on January 9, 1995. 

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/5-pmFZJtS4E" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

 

“How would you like to be remembered?” asked the journalist.

I think by the poem, “Father Death Blues”. ..It is the fruition of my Buddhist training.”

 

Father Death Blues

Hey Father Death, I’m flying home
Hey poor man, you’re all alone
Hey old daddy, I know where I’m going

Father Death, Don’t cry any more
Mama’s there, underneath the floor
Brother Death, please mind the store

Old Aunty Death Don’t hide your bones
Old Uncle Death I hear your groans
O Sister Death how sweet your moans

O Children Deaths go breathe your breaths
Sobbing breasts’ll ease your Deaths
Pain is gone, tears take the rest

Genius Death your art is done
Lover Death your body’s gone
Father Death I’m coming home

Guru Death your words are true
Teacher Death I do thank you
For inspiring me to sing this Blues

Buddha Death, I wake with you
Dharma Death, your mind is new
Sangha Death, we’ll work it through

Suffering is what was born
Ignorance made me forlorn
Tearful truths I cannot scorn

Father Breath once more farewell
Birth you gave was no thing ill
My heart is still, as time will tell. 

 

 

In this video, Allen Ginsberg makes two variations to his original poem:

“..Old Aunty Death I hear your groans

Old Uncle Death I see your bones. ..”

 

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