Pháp Thân

December 27, 2018

By Bang Lang Do

Phạm Duy's song Pháp Thân is one of ten songs in the series “Đao Ca” (Spiritual songs). Lyrics are based on the poet Phạm Thiên Thư. The poem is the voice of one out of two characters, speaking of their intertwined many past lives, denoting the concept of Interbeing in its Refrain: “tuy hai mà một”- though two is one, one is also two. 

In many ways this idea of interbeing relates to refugees, who became refugees because of events that happened in another part of the world. A political and economic reality that was created through the global market, the world wide web of trades, the ever so instantaneous exchange of ideas, of threats; our inter-connectedness. These refugees would not have existed had we not existed in this comfortable part of the world. Having been a refugee, one can feel it in our gut. Having lived many more years outside of homeland than in, one can feel the changes within, the two feet on different grounds, the transformation of perceptions after feet get settled on one piece of earth. 

The Jazzy version of the song with me on zither denotes that change. Credit to my husband, James Sherry, for encouraging me to use my heritage, folk songs and this song, to renew and review where I came from, why I am here, and how we are all connected.


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