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

Bright Morning Stars – An Appalachian Folk Tune

Bright Morning Stars – An Appalachian Folk Tune

Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking
In my soul
Oh where are our dear fathers?
Oh where are our dear fathers?
They are down in the valley a’praying
Day is a’breaking
In my soul
Oh where are our dear mothers? Oh where are our dear mothers?
They are gone to heaven a’shouting
Day is a’breaking In my soul
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Bright morning stars are rising
Day is a’breaking
In my soul

Oh Holy Morn — Heather Houston

I received this sweet song on the beautiful frosty morning of Dec. 22nd, 2017. I harmonized it on Dec. 21st of 2019. I just love these tight harmonies! It can also be sung as a round.

Lyrics: 

Oh holy morn of frosty winter
Dawn of love’s returning light
Speak to me in songs of wonder
Teach my heart to shine so bright

© Heather Houston 2017
All rights reserved

Conversation With a Raven — Heather Houston

A super fun song to sing!!

I was walking back to my car after leading a Sisters in Harmony retreat at 1440 Multiversity — it was a transformational time in my life, a great time of leaning into my power and surrendering to the unfolding of my soul’s purpose. This raven hopped toward me, right to the edge of a car in the lot, not more than a foot away. It started by checking out my shiny earrings, and then looked directly into my eyes, into my soul…

And we had a psychic conversation that went something like this…

Lyrics:

A conversation, with a raven,
A conversation, yes I had,
A conversation, with a raven,
And I said,
I’ve never had a conversation
with a raven

How I love your sparkling earrings
And your eyes so bright
Oh please would you
Let me take them
Home with me tonight?

Let me take you to worlds between
Through the portals of things unseen
We’ll unveil the magic of your innermost dreams
We’ll harness the power of your brave Queen

© Heather Houston 2019
All rights reserved

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

 

The Veil — Heather Houston

This hauntingly beautiful multi-layered song poured through me on All Hallows’ Eve in 2017. We love to sing it by candlelight. I like to offer a space for the women to name and deeply honor a few of their ancestors.

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved

Lyrics:

Part 1:
The veil between worlds it is opening
The spirits are calling our names
To listen to their wisdom
To gather round sacred flame

Part 2:
In the silence we hear them
Voices from the past
Giving name to illusion
Truth that we have outcast

 

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