Suitcase

from by Anna Batson

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about

This track was inspired by a project in the Tamar valley, 'Songs from a Small Train' in 2014 / 2015 when I was working alongside other musicians and a small group of refugees from a number of different countries. One of them explained that "Khushamdeed" meant "welcome" which juxtaposed with my other developing lyrical content this song that I wrote to help me explore the themes of displacement and the difficulties faced by refugees coming to the UK at this time, as well as the bitter-sweet reference to a 'welcome'.

The train and its implied rhythms thread through the song. I wrote of the sadness of seeing a few belongings being carried in a suitcase to represent someone's life. I also wanted to write about the strength, endurance, patience and hope that I have seen in people who are trying to make the best of wherever they are and whatever circumstances they endured to reach that place.

"Did the maker's hands sew the journey map into these seams? Did he stitch the leather and line it with my dreams?"

lyrics

SUITCASE

Did the maker’s hands sew the journey map into these seams?
Did he stitch the leather and line it with my dreams?
He made it from both beast and cloth then fastened with a zip.
When at first I tried to sing my song, he sewed up both my lips.

Mmmm...

Dreams that scatter on the ballast stones
Stories on the train…
Carry my flesh and move these bones
My suitcase with a label – no address, just my name…just my name


Tears and smiles mix with the smears on the windows of this train.
Finding solace in sound, and mix my happiness with pain.
Goodnight wherever you may be as I cross this darker tide.
On steel toes we move from the day’s kisses,
In silent wishes hide.

Khushamdeed...

For my love won’t hide inside this battered, closed-lipped case.
It just burns right through the glass and then escapes without grace.
And then it finds its way to those I love worlds away from here.
Yet I carry them in both my hands right through this greener land.

Khushamdeed....


When dreams fall between the tracks, where do they all go?
Secrets and confessions whoosh past my ears in a heartbeat.
I search, but can’t remember the last thing you said to me,
All I know is I am travelling my own history…

So I take this leather case of mine and wait my turn to move.
Someone will decide for me when my story is approved.
Please don’t clip my wings this time - I really have to live.
Walk through gates and barriers with all my love to give…

Khushamdeed...

credits

from English Bathtub Sea, released February 14, 2016
Voice, Guitar, Keyboard - Anna Batson
Bass - Matthew Potts

Recorded and produced by Anna Batson and Andrew 'Doc' Collins at PMC Studios, Plymouth, Devon

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