Stories of Sanctuary

by Sam Slatcher and the Sanctuary Seekers

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1.
Like a swallow as she’s flying by the season So may we find peace. Like a butterfly that leaves a darkened room So may we find peace. Like the moon that pulls the waves across the ocean So may we find peace. Like the ship that makes its way towards a safe shore So may we find peace Like somebody who is calling at your door So may we find peace Like the pilgrim who has walked this way before us So may we find peace. Oh tahta al-sama nahnu na’eesh (Under the sky, we live) Like a swallow as she’s flying by the season So may we find peace. Like a butterfly that leaves a darkened room So may we find peace. Like the moon that pulls the waves across the ocean So may we find peace. Oh tahta al-sama nahnu na’eesh (Under the sky, we live)
2.
A thousand years ago on an island in Northumbria Dragon ships arrived in the darkness of the night Monks they did flee and took all their treasure And carried carefully, the sleeping refugee. With his body growing heavy, they took it as a sign To rest him on a hill, that soon became a shrine Hundred years later and it would be known You could knock and you could find a safe place from the snow. In these ancient streets, there’s a heartbeat of sanctuary All are pilgrims of a kind. In these stones you’re not alone, there’s a place to be In the city of a thousand years, In the city of a thousand more In the city of sanctuary.
3.
Arabic: هدي يابحر تراث  هدي يا بحر هدي طولنا في غيبتنا ودي سلامي ودي للارض اللي ربتنا وسلملي على الزيتونه  على اهلي اللي ربوني وبعدا امي الحنوني بتشمشم بمخدتنا سلم على بلادي تربة بَي وجدادي وبعدوا العصفور الشادي بغرد لعودتنا وخدي سلامي يا نجوم عالبيادر والكروم وبعدا الفراشه بتحوم عم تستنظر عودتنا واحمل لبلادي سلام لخوالي ولكل العمام وبعدوا زغلول الحمام عشوا على توتتنا هدي يابحر هدي طولنا طولنا في غيبتنا  ودي سلامي ودي للارض اللي ربتنا English translation: Calm my sea, calm! We have been away for quite some time Send my regards to the land that raised us  Greet the olive Greet my family who raised us  Does my kind mother still smell our pillows? Greet my country, the land of my father and ancestors Does the bird still sing for our return? Oh stars, take my greetings.  Are the butterflies still flying around waiting for our return? Give my greetings to my country And all my uncles  Is the nest still in the branch of the tree?  Calm my sea, calm! We have been away for quite some time Send my regards to the land that raised us .
4.
Shadow and I 04:00
Shadow, where are we going tonight? As you grow and out run those searching lights Somewhere alone in the Serbian snow All I know, yellow line in the road Oh shadow, only you and I around. Shadow, I’ve been talking to you my friend I follow, but don’t know where the journey ends You kiss the face of sleeping souls That lie beside, this long windy road Oh Shadow, it’s only you and I around. Shadow, are you going to let me down? Shadow, only you and I around You’re going out as the sun goes down And darkness falls, on this refuge of mine Oh shadow, it’s only you and I around. Shadow, when you’re gone in the night Shadow, there’ll be a glimmer of light Soon the road will be yours once more And soon the sun will show you the way And the borderline will no longer define us, And the shadow returns With the sun now at its height The shadow becomes This story of mine.
5.
Let us be together, let us dream as one We become more beautiful, when we find our song We live under the same sky We breathe in, the same air We bleed, from the same skin Our difference, not between us, but within Let us be together, let us dream as one We become more beautiful, when we find our song The words that we speak, like a river running dry But our hearts do bleed and they cry But there’s a language of love, so deep And the roots run deeper, than we ever could speak Let us be together, let us dream as one We become more beautiful, when we find our song Renew the day with love, sweet love Let us be together, let us be as one Life’s too short for anger or hate And tomorrow will be too late You only have today in your hands So plant the seeds of love in every land Let us be together, let us dream as one We become more beautiful, when we find our song Renew the day with love, sweet love Let us be together, let us be as one
6.
Donemutha 04:51
7.
8.
Sometimes it can be hard to say goodbye I’ve been living in a cage, for a little while Lost my home, lost my friends, lost my freedom I’ve been uprooted but the door is open wide. Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly. These new streets I walk and breathe have set me free The city I came to offered sanctuary But the longing is painful and oh I miss my home But I know, I do not walk alone. Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly. I may have lost it all, but I’ve not lost my soul. Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly Oh I haven’t any wings, but I can try Try to fly, dance like a butterfly. Music and lyrics by The Sanctuary Seekers
9.
10.
( الشام يامهجة قلبي ) الشام يا مهجة قلبي دمتي للهوا ذخرا قومي حبيبتي واقتلي اليأس والقهرا لا تركعي واقتلعي الأشواك بيديك  لا تتراجعي وازرعي ورود الأمل في كل  شوراعك وبيوتك  نحن لن ننساك لا تنسينا يامقلة عيني مهما طالت غربتنا وكبرت مآسينا انتي في قلوبنا تسكنينا  اه يا وطني المقتول والمسلوب والمسروق اه يا وطني English translation: Oh Sham, my heartbeat, you will always be the highest. Get up my love, and kill the despair and oppression. Don't bend and extract the thorns by your hand. Don't go back but plant flowers of hope in all your streets and houses. We won’t forget you, don't forget us oh the apple of my eyes! No matter how deep is our foreignness, and no matter how big are our tragedies, you will be in our hearts. Oh my stolen and killed home. Oh my home. Song written and sung by Hasna Al Hassoun
11.
Swallow and Saint One day a swallow flew Into the room where you And I had been dancing round and round. Thousands of miles we've come, Under the same old sun Flying like swallows do To find a way through. Caught in the window pane, Someone had felt her pain, Everyone rushed to set her free. Someone had climbed a chair Someone could barely stare Someone had reached their hands To hold and care And as she flapped around Her delicate wings unbound Everyone held their breathe to see And our hands reach out, Holding back wire frame Figuring out, how we can let you go In the evening light, over northern skies Where our friendship lies And the saints will rise, and they whisper "I am in the miracle of the blue and gold As her wings unfold, to the open sky” Oh when a swallow flew Into the room where you And I had been dancing Round and round
12.
In these ancient streets, there’s a heartbeat of sanctuary All are pilgrims of a kind In these stones you’re not alone, there’s a place to be In the city of sanctuary. Walking through these streets, the market place, the library The bridges and the railways and the university The scholars and the buskers, the pilgrims on the road The city’s arms are wide, where all can find a home. In these ancient streets, there’s a heartbeat of sanctuary All are pilgrims of a kind In these stones you’re not alone, there’s a place to be In the city of sanctuary.
13.

about

*PLEASE NOTE* If you would like to buy a copy of the Stories of Sanctuary album, there are limited copies available on the Citizen Songwriters Bandcamp site:
citizensongwriters.bandcamp.com
£10.00 FREE P&P
All proceeds to Citizen Songwriters to support the future work of songwriting with marginalised communities to enable them to share their story through song.

"Poignant, touching, hopeful and full of humanity" (Steve Pledger)

Stories of Sanctuary is a community songwriting project bringing those seeking sanctuary together with others living in County Durham through exploring stories of sanctuary past and present. The songs have been co-written by singer-songwriter Sam Slatcher with participants from the workshops in the summer of 2018 in the city of Durham, UK.

The Sanctuary Seekers are all in some way seeking sanctuary. The majority of the group fled the civil war in Syria and today live in County Durham. For some, their ‘sanctuary’ was sought for others reasons: from broken families seeking new homes, to international students exploring the North East’s history, to sojourners seeking some sort of
homecoming to the Celtic landscape of the North East. All are pilgrims of a kind…

"As you journey with Sam and his collaborators through Stories of Sanctuary you will experience an album of great beauty, peace and musical depth" (Gareth Davies-Jones)

The project was funded by the National Lottery via the Arts Council’s Grants for the Arts Programme.
Please visit www.citizensongwriters.org/stories-of-sanctuary to find out more.

Facebook @StoriesofSanctuary
Twitter @SanctuarySongs

credits

released November 9, 2018

The album was recorded at Studio One, County Durham (UK) by producer Ron Angus. Music and arrangements written by Sam Slatcher (except track 6).

Raghad Haddad, viola player from the National Syrian Orchestra, appears on tracks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9.

The Sanctuary Seekers consist of thirty people, with Hasna Al Hassoun, Sabah Al Hassoun, Rania Al Ali, Sheila Alty, Eliza Colin Hodges, Amna Al Ali and Fatima Al Karbi featuring on the album.

All photography by Simone J Rudolphi, except images on pages 1, 4 and 6 taken by Mohammed Almasri.

Artwork designed by Teodor Tranca with Sam Slatcher.

Lyrics to tracks 3 and 10 interpreted by Israa Daoud.

All rights reserved, copyright Sam Slatcher and the Sanctuary Seekers 2018.

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Sam Slatcher Durham, UK

Sam Slatcher is a folk singer-songwriter living in Durham, North East England. His honest and reflective songwriting, delivered with a calming and delicate voice captures the warmth of humanity and a longing for peace and justice.

To date, Sam has released his first EP 'In Unlikely Places (April 2018), the collaborative album 'Stories of Sanctuary' (Nov 2018) and 'Chaos & Solitude' (May 2020)
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