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(Double CD)

Notes from the CD

KALI DASGUPTA (1926-2005)

Kali Dasgupta is among the greatest collectors and interpreters of the folksongs of eastern and northeastern India. He was actively involved in politics during the independence movement and up to 1965. His interest in folk music grew alongside his political involvement for such songs reveal the socioeconomic condition of the people; the oppression both feudal and political against which they struggle. In 1965 Kali moved to England where he came to know many singers who shared his perspective, particularly Ewan McColl and Peggy Seeger. He began to perform regularly in folk clubs both in the U.K. and the U.S.A. On his return to India he continued to collect, perform and teach.

Kali accompanies himself on a four stringed instrument - the dotara. He also plays a one stringed gourd-the ektara.

Lokosaraswati thanks Arun Nag, Partha Sarathi Chatterji, Stan Scott and Jack Warshaw who originally recorded the songs that make up this album. The songs from Goalpara come from the collection of Nihar Barua. In the songs from Purulia the accompanist on the sarengi is Nilanjan Halder.


1. Bihu (Assam) These quatrains are sung at the Bihu (Spring) festival.

2. Amarei moina shuboiye (Assam) A lullaby.

3. Horiherorei (Assam) A devotional song.

4. O Balaram (gostholila song, Sylhet) Yasoda asks Balaram to leave. She does not want to let Krishna go with him and the cowherds. She cannot bear to lose him.

5. Kandey rakhal gonei (gostholila song, Syihet) Yasoda is crying to Krishna's companions who reply that they cannot go to the cattle fair without Krishna.

6. Dubi,dubi mon (written in jail in the 1930s by Sishtidhar Mahatao a freedom fighter and leader of the Purulia Baul movement). The singer is searching to find who he is and where he has come from. His senses do not help him. In his heart is a lotus full of honey but he can get no trace of it. He will devote himself to his guru - his gods - hoping to find the truth.

7. Baccharei na neo dur bone (gostholila song, Sylhet) Yasoda begs Balaram not to take Krishna far away into the forest.

8. Nander nandon (gostholila song, Syihet) Nandan's son, Krishna, is going to the fields playing the flute.

9. Swapane paiachi hon (dorbanijhumur, Purulia) The singer complains of the fickleness of her lover who has brought her shame and distress by his unfulfilled promises.

10. O Shyam kalia rei (bhawaiya, North Bengal) Like many love songs the lovers are idealized as Radha and Krishna. [See also CD 1 nos 13, CD 2 nos 4,16] The singer (Radha) is trying to allure her lover (Krishna) by drawing attention to her looks and qualities which she says surpass his.