Shosholoza – Traditional song from Zimbabwe

Shosholoza From Zimbabwe

“Shosholoza” is an Nguni song that was sung by the mixed tribes of miners mining gold in South Africa. It is a mix of Zulu and Ndebele words and can have various other South African languages thrown in depending on the singers. It was sung by African workers that were working in the South African mines in a call and response style. As the miners sang, their spirits were lifted.

The lyrics of the song refer to the steam trains that used to carry migrant miners from Zimbabwe to South Africa. But as the melody suggests, the song is really about hope. Literally, Shosholoza means “go forward” in the Ndebele language. In the late 20th century, anti-apartheid activists found the song inspiring and used it to keep up their hopes. Then, when apartheid fell, the song became a vehicle for national reconciliation. As depicted in the movie “Invictus,” South Africans of all backgrounds joined together in singing Shosholoza in willing their team to victory in the 1995 rugby World Cup. Today, Shosholoza is an unofficial South African national anthem and reminds us that change is possible.

So fun to sing!!!

This song is in the public domain.

Lyrics:
Shosholoza
Kulezo ntaba
Stimbela siphubme South Africa
Wen’ uyabaleka
Kulezo ntaba
Stimbela siphubme South Africa

Translation:
Go forward
You are meandering on those mountains
The train is from South Africa

You accelerate
you accelerate
on those mountains
The train is from South Africa

Sacred Fire – Heather Houston

“Women we’re calling you… home to the sacred fire.
Healing our hearts, planting our seeds,
Weaving our prayers, amplifying our dreams.”

Women, we know how powerful it is to gather in circle with our sisters. Let’s keep calling ourselves home, each other home. It is here, in this sacred container that we find the courage to heal and transform our lives.

© Heather Houston 2019
All rights reserved

Storm of Sound – Valerie Byrne

A beautiful layer song of empowerment. This one came through Valerie the day of the 2019 Women’s march. We like to get everyone marching to the beat together to feel even more deeply the solidarity of the community. Valerie is a long time member of my women’s choir Yala Lati and has been writing more and more songs for us to enjoy!

Part 1
A storm of sound, a growing thunder
What will change? I wonder?

Part 2
We are the voice of this age
Let your voice rage rage like thunder

Part 3
We are the one walking in truth
Let your voice rage like thunder

Storm of Sound

Right Here Now – Heather Houston

This song moved through me, for you, for all of us, on Easter Sunday 2020. What you are hearing is the song in raw form, unrehearsed, first time I ever sang it, recorded on my iPhone. I have no need or desire to perfect anything. May it be an invitation for you, as it was for me, to pause in the perfection of the present moment.

Lyrics

Right here now, in this present moment,
Right here now, I am singing
Right here now in this present moment,
Right here now, I am breathing

Pause with the exhale, let go surrender

All is well, I am held in the arms of Love
​​​​​​​All is well, I am held by the One

Right here now, this is holy ground
Right here now, this is sacred sound

© Heather Houston
04/2020
All rights reserved

 

Bird of Light — Heather Houston

I offer this chant as a powerful practice of presencing. In the dark, difficult, and uncertain times, one of the most powerful tools I’ve found is to chant mantra. Mantra, that which protects the mind, helps us to enter into a one-pointed concentration, thus quieting the looping stories and the fears.

Choose one part and stick to it throughout, and notice how you feel afterward. This is also a beautiful one to sing with a large group of people.

Hamsa so hum translates as “I Am That” in Sanskrit. In Vedic philosophy, it means identifying oneself with the universe or ultimate reality. The Soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes. Sooooo… is the sound of inhalation, and Hummmm… is the sound of exhalation.

Hamsa means white swan. The swan, of course, is an ancient symbol of spiritual grace and purity. The mantra is called White Swan because when the in-breath and out-breath are freed and purified, they are like the wings of a swan helping our spirits to soar. The Hamsa mantra helps us find the grace within and carries us beyond our limited concepts.

Lyrics:

Hamsa so hum, hamsa so hum

I am that I am that I am, I am that I am that I am

So hum, so hum, so hum, so hum

I am this breath, I am this voice

I am a bird of light, I am a bird in flight

© November 2019
Heather Houston
All rights reserved

I Am Enough – Heather Houston

I Am More Than Enough by Heather Houston

For the New Moon in Aries 2020. It’s time for all of us to trust our own worth and allow our spirits to shine! The world needs us!!

Part 1
I am enough, I am more that enough
I am enough, I am more that enough
I am enough, I am more that enough
And I’m reclaiming my power

Part 2
There is room enough for me to be
Exactly who I was born to be
And I will set my true gifts free
‘Cause I’m reclaiming my power

Part 3
I’m a unique expression of the Divine
And I’m here to let my spirit shine!

© Heather Houston
03/23/2020
all rights reserved

You Are Light by Heather Houston

A beautiful gathering song for these times. Namaste – the light (Divine) in me honors the light (Divine) within you. A beautiful greeting song!!

Part 1
The light in me, honors the light within you

Part 2
Oh… you are, yes you are, light

Part 3
Oh… you are light

Part 4
I am light, you are light, I am light, you are light

© Heather Houston
03/08/2020
All rights reserved

Infinite Bliss – Heather Houston

This fun polyrhythmic chant came to me on the winds at Pinnacles National Monument. I love to hike alone there and experience “the hills are alive with the sound of music” kinds of moments. 🙂 It’s vast and spacious and filled with fields of wildflowers! Absolute bliss! So this song got titled Infinite Bliss.

I like to really break down the rhythms on this one, pointing out the up beats and down beats at the beginning of each phrase.

© Heather Houston 2005
All rights reserved

Wade in the Water Medley – Traditional Spirituals

Traditional Spirituals

I learned this medley from Ysaye Barnwell at a music educators conference way back in 1999. A favorite amongst my elementary school choirs as well as my adult choirs and circles.

Wade In the Water was an Underground Railroad song, sung as a guide to assist the those moving towards freedom to know where the safe river crossings were, or to get into the water so the dogs would lose the scent. Also referencing the Bible from Exedos. “An angel troubled the water”. A call to get in the water to become whole and healed again.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child – a song of grief for those separated from their families and their homeland.

I Wanna Die Easy When I Die – the enslaved people’s way of claiming that they WILL make it to freedom, and they will not die until they do – Such strength and conviction of spirit!

When I sing these songs with my groups, I also like to presence that we are still on a journey of reparations, justice and equality with people of color who are descendants of the enslaved. There are still deep wounds that need to be healed. I like to have the circle speak their prayers, or I like to set an intention that as we sing these songs, we are creating a ripple of love and healing for those still on the journey, and for our nation as a whole.

Lyrics:

Wade In The Water

Wade in the water
Wade in the water children
Wade in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water

Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
Sometimes I feel like a motherless child
A long way from home

I Wanna Die Easy

I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
I wanna die easy when I die
Shout salvation when I rise
I want to die easy when I die

These songs are in the public domain

Divine Mystery by Heather Houston

This one flowed through for a room full of women entrepreneurs. It’s been a favorite for many ever since. A beautiful layer song.

Lyrics:

Oh I am opening up for a dance with Divine Mystery
Oh I am trusting the path that’s unfolding before me with ease

Just let go now, trust the flow,
Just let go now, then you’ll know.

Right on time now, I’ve arrived
Right on time now, I’m aligned.

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved