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 heard that overtone melody once, with my very first circle of song leader trainees! Amazing!

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

This song is in the public domain.


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

Slow Version:

Fast Version:

How Sweet the Sound — Doug von Koss

A dreamy song that I learned around the campfire at Song Village. It can be sung just as is, or in a round. I loved it so much that I tracked down the composer and asked his permission to use it in my song library.

Recorded with permission from Doug.
Listen to his original version here  (with slightly different melody and small lyric changes.)


How sweet the sound was in the night,
the melody flowed like water,
the women sang of the moon’s delights,
and the men all sang about honey

© Doug von Koss
All rights reserved