Listen — Heather Houston

This elegant, mystical, circular song flowed through me for the Winter Solstice of 2020, inviting us to trust the wisdom of our own hearts. Enjoy!

Shruti box in A, or singing bowl in D.

You’re welcome to share this song with others. Recording is not permitted. Thank you.

Lyrics:

The answer lies within me
Deep within my heart
The wisdom I am seeking
Divine love will impart
Listen
Listen
Listen
Listen

© Heather Houston
12/20/2020
All rights reserved

Show Me What Is Mine to Do — Heather Houston

As we continue to navigate our way in these confounding times, I find it helpful to make requests like: “Show me what is mine to do. Truly mine, not anyone else’s. Please continue revealing to me my own unique path. How can I share my gifts? How can I best be of service to my community?”

Lyrics:
Show me what is mine to do

© Heather Houston
July 2020

Now I Walk In Beauty — A Navajo Prayer

A Navajo prayer put to music by Gregg Smith. Made popular by Libana. This is a sweet round with a big vocal range. Be sure that you are nice and warmed up before you sing it.

Lyrics:

Now I walk in beauty
Beauty is before me
Beauty is behind me
Above and below me

La Mar Estaba Serena — A Folk Tune

I learned this sweet tune from a woman in our choir, Erika Dominguez. The origin is unknown; it’s a common folk song in the Spanish-speaking Americas. Singing it in a round is a bit tricky, as the last line creates some dissonance. It’s also quite lovely to just sing it as is, in unison together. Enjoy!

Lyrics:
La mar estaba serena
Serena estaba la mar (repeat)

Translation:
The sea was calm/serene
Calm/serene was the sea

Note: This little jingle is sung by small children in many Spanish speaking countries to play with vowel sounds, similar to the English song, “I Like to Eat Apples and Bananas.” They start out with “La mar estaba serena…serena estaba la mar” with the correct vowels. Then they repeat the stanza 5 times, each time substituting all of the vowels with either “a”, “e”, “i” “o” or “u.” So, by the 5th repetition everyone is singing “Lu mur ustubu surunu…,” etc. Then, after all the vowels are gone through, the correct pronunciation is sung as the grand finale. It is quite hilarious, and usually the kids are rolling all over the place by the end, enjoying the silly sounds.

 

Chant to Yemaya – Traditional Yoruba Chant

A traditional Yoruba chant to the Goddess of the sea. I like to invite my singers to call out the qualities of the ocean before we sing it, then invite them feel the flow of the water in their bodies as they move and sing. This chant can be sung in a round.

A traditional chant in the public domain.

Lyrics:

Yemaya oh, ago, ako yo yemaya
Yemaya oh, ago, ako yo yemaya

Mama Gaia – Heather Houston

A tribute to our beautiful Mother Earth. This one flowed through on a warm Spring day with the energy of gratitude in my heart! Sung in a round.

Lyrics:
Oh Mama Gaia
Oh Mama Gaia
Oh Mama Gaia
We sing our praise to you!

Keep Movin’ Forward My Darlin’ – Valerie Bynne

Keep Movin’ Forward My Darlin’ by Valerie Byrne

Written for Greta Thunberg, Alexandria Ocasia-Cortez and all of the women in the world who are moving forward with purpose and passion! Keep movin’ forward loves! We see you, we support you, we appreciate you!! Thank you for writing this powerful song Valerie! We love it!

Lyrics:

Keep movin’ forward my darlin’
Keep movin’ on my love
You know you are the beloved one
To answer to your calling

© Valerie Byrne
All rights reserved

Bele Mama — Cameroon, West Africa

This is a great ice-breaker of a song! The perfect opener. It gets your group singing in harmony in a matter of minutes. Possible meaning is “Mama come out and play!” When I first learned this, I learned that it was from the Torres Straight Islands and that it meant “Beautiful Earth.” The more research I do, the more I find that it’s actually from West Africa and has traveled far and wide. I learned it off of a “WombSong” CD. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Bele mama, bele mama ee ay
Bele mama, bele mama ee ay
Bele mama, bele mama, bele mama, bele mama,
Bele mama, bele mama ee eh

This song is in the public domain
Arrangement by Heather Houston

Earth My Body — Source Unknown

I’ve known and sung this beautiful chant in women’s circles for many years. It’s an invitation to feel one with the Earth, a reminder of our sacred connection to, and responsibility for, the more than human world. The composer is unknown, and the song is in the public domain.

Arrangement by Heather Houston

Lyrics:

Earth my body,
Water my blood,
Air my breath
and fire my spirit

Rainforest Chant from Ituri Rainforest (Democratic Republic of Congo)

I learned this chant from Silvia Nakkach and Alba Lirio. Brought to Silvia and Alba through Ysaye Barnwell. Quote from Ysaye Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock: “[This chant is] Sung to pull all of the members of the community into the center of the community. It can be sung for hours and, some people say, even days. If that’s what it takes to pull everyone into a like‐mindedness.” I’ve also heard that the chief of the village would know that it was time to resolve a conflict when he could hear a melody being sung over the top with overtones. And I actually hear it one time, with my very first circle of song circle trainees! Amazing!

A real crowd pleaser in my circles, and beautiful way to entrain the group. Can be done more slowly at first.

This song is in the public domain.

Lyrics:

Ama ee boo oh ee ay
Ama ee boo oh ee ay