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Browne, Dead Play for Seva

Benefit concert aids Wavy Gravy organization

December 5, 2003 12:00 AM ET

In 1978, hippie-activist Wavy Gravy launched the Seva Foundation, a charity that helps eradicate blindness and provide eye care for people in Nepal. Twenty-five years later, several of Gravy's musical friends are gathering to raise money and celebrate the organization's tenure.

The festivities will take place on December 13th at the Berkeley Community Theater in Berkeley, California.

"Seva is Sanskrit for service," says Jackson Browne, who will perform along with the Dead and Steve Earle. "Major religions have this idea of being of service to humanity -- and what could be more fundamental than to help somebody who's blind be able to see."

Seva has also started community-development programs in Guatemala and the Mexican state of Chiapas, as well as diabetes-prevention efforts in American-Indian communities.

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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