Zominamina from the Ivory Coast

A gathering song from the Ivory Coast. I learned this one from an Inkululeko CD back in 2000 when I was teaching elementary school. I arranged the harmonies for my students. It became a favorite for all of the grades, every year. Adults love it too! 😉

Try keeping the rhythm in your hands or feet as you sing it.

This song is in the public domain.

Lyrics:

Zominamina eh eh
Wake wake eh eh eh
Zominamina zonga le wa
Ana wa ah ah

Zongo eh eh eh
Zongo eh eh eh
Zominamina zonga le wa
Ana wa ah ah

Wood Stone by Joules Graves

This song is a most beloved classic in my song circles. I’ve been teaching it since 2005 and everyone loves it! It’s one that people can really sing out on. I typically use a rattle to help keep the beat. Enjoy!

This song is in the public domain
Arrangement by Heather Houston

Lyrics:

Wood stone feather and bone
Roaring of the ocean guide us home
x2
High angel singing
x2
In my soul
x4
River sea redwood tree
Howling of the wind gonna set us free
x2
High angel singing
x2
In my soul
x4

I Wonder by Heather Houston

This song came through in a difficult time. One morning I took myself on a long hike and prayed and opened to the magic of the Universe. This song dropped in as a mantra – “I wonder how easy this can be?” Singing and opening to the mystery, I got myself in a place of surrendered calm. When I got home, a piece of guidance dropped in, and within minutes, my prayers were answered, and the result was much better than I could have dreamed. A way was made out of seemingly no way. Grateful for the deep knowing that prayer is a powerful thing.

© 2019 Heather Houston
All rights reserved

You are welcome to sing and share this song!

Lyrics:
I wonder how easy this can be?

WomensCirclesSistersInHarmonyWomensSpiritSongInspirationWomensSingingCirclesChantingCirclesCampfireRoundsHarmonyYalaLatiHeatherHoustonCommunityChoirBlessingwaySongsSpiritualTrustGuidancePrayerMantra

Ise Oluwa from West Africa

This beautiful chant from Nigeria is sung in the Yoruba language. A favorite to sing with my shruti box layering in harmonies as we go.

Arrangement by Heather Houston

This song is in the public domain.

Meaning:
God’s good work will never be destroyed. I like to think of it as the Creator’s beautiful work lives on for eternity.

Lyrics:

Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh
Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh
Kole baje oh
Kole baje oh
Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh

Evening Rise – Composer Unknown

An absolute favorite in my song circles and in my choir. The harmonies are hauntingly beautiful, easy enough to learn and very satisfying for everyone once they get all of the parts. I learned this song from my dear friend Lydia Neilsen, who learned it in her permaculture community. As far as I can tell, this song is in the public domain. I have not been able to track down the composer. Please let me know if you have any information.

Lyrics:

Evening rise, spirits come
Sun goes down when the day is done
Mother Earth awakens me
to the heartbeat of the sea

Apache Honoring Song

I learned this chant from a Walela CD. This is a simplified version that I arranged for my circles and my choir. In my women’s singing circles, I have women take turns standing in the middle to receive the blessing of women’s voices singing them home. We sometimes speak out loud what we see and honor about the woman / women standing in the center.

Walela

This traditional chant is in the public domain.

Lyrics:

Yo way ee oh, yo way oh way
Yo way oh hi ya, yo way oh hi ee ya
Yo wa oh, hey ya, hey yo, hey ya, hey yo, hey ya, hey yo yo way
Hi

 

You Are So Loved — Heather Houston

This song originally flowed through as a lullaby for parents and babies, but it has become a favorite within my circles of singers. We love to invite women into the center of the circle and sing to them when they are in need of some TLC.

My intent with this lullaby is for all humans to tap into the feeling of being deeply loved, deeply loved by our own selves, by our friends, by our communities and circles of friends, and then spreading that energy of love to our wider circles and sending it out to the planet for anyone in need of some nurturing.

Lyrics:

You are so loved

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Album version with my choir!

Parts tracks:

(A note on the image on these SoundCloud files: I adore the energy of love and care that is captured in this painting by Katie m. Berggren.) 

Sto Mi E Milo — Traditional Macedonian, arr. by Kitka

I loved to sing this beautifully uplifting song from Macedonia with my a cappella quartet, SIRENZ, and now with my Yala Lati Women’s choir! With my song circles, I will just teach the first verse. A song of hope and a vision of normalcy in a war-torn part of the world. Tight harmonies and a 7/8 rhythm keep it interesting. I learned this song from Kitka, who learned it from Ethel Raim.

You can learn more about the history of the song here.

Used with permission from the women of Kitka.

Sheet Music: Please contact Heather

Translation:

“Što Mi E Milo” has been variously translated as “what I would like” or “how dear it is to me” or “I’m glad.”

How I would like to have a shop
In the town of Struga
Hurry, young Kalino

To sit by the door
And watch the young girls of Struga go by
Hurry, young Kalino

As they fetch the water
With their brightly colored jugs
Hurry, young Kalino

And meet with their friends at the well
Hurry, young Kalino

Lyrics:

Sto mi e milo, milo i drago
Vo struga grada, mamo, duk’an da imam
Lele varai, mome, mome Kalino
Vo struga grada, mamo, duk’an da imam

Na k’epencite, mamo, da sedam
Struzkite momi mamo momi da gledam
Lele varai mome, mome Kalino
Struzkite momi mamo momi da gledam

Koga na voda, voda mi odat
So tija stomni mamo, stomni sareni
Lele varai, mome, mome Kalino,
So tija stomni, mamo, stomni sareni

Na ovoj izvor, izvor studeni,
Tam da se zdruzki, mamo, zdruzki soberat
Lele varai, mome, mome Kalino,
Tam da se zdruzki, mamo, zdruski soberat

Tending the Spark — Heather Houston

A song for these uncertain times. Inspired by one of Joanna Macy’s talks at a Bioneers Conference.

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Lyrics:

And we will care for each other
As the world around us unravels
And we will tend to the spark
Of hope that lives within our grieving hearts
And we are here now, in this present moment
Lifting our voices and hearts
And we are here now, we have come together
We are tending the spark of hope
Oh may it grow
And we will care for each other