I’m Going Back – Heather Houston

A great rhythmic entrainment song. I love to get my singers moving their feet together on this one, and then eventually invite them to play the heart beat on their chest. This one flowed through one morning in thinking about recording my “Sisters of the Moon” album. It didn’t make it on the album, but it sure is fun to sing in circle. Enjoy!

© Heather Houston 2019
All rights reserved


I’m going back
to the earth
I’m going back
to be re-birthed
into the cycles of the moon
where I feel the rhythm of our unified
heart, beat
I’m going back

Wave of Women – Heather Houston

A powerful song inspired by the 2019 Women’s march. The theme was “A Wave of Women.” After the experience of singing to a sea of women and supporters of women on that day at our local Santa Cruz march, this song flowed through that very afternoon.

© 2019 Heather Houston
All rights reserved



We are a wave of women moving across the land
We are a wave of women rising to take a stand
for our brothers and sisters,
our daughters and sons,
for the Earth and her creatures,
we’re all chosen ones.


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!


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

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
Arranged by Heather Houston


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

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:

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.


This traditional chant is in the public domain.


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


Rising Strong — Heather Houston

Inspired by the youth in our nation who are rising strong! Dedicated to the people who are committed to all of the powerful movements that are happening around the globe. This song flowed through shortly after the Parkland, Florida school shooting happened.

© Heather Houston 2018
All rights reserved


Part 1:
Oh take my hand now, yes you belong
And lift your voice now, we’ll sing this song
And we will root down into the ground now
We’re rising strong, yeah, we’re rising strong

Parts 2 and 3:

Parts 4 and 5:
And we are warriors of the light
And we are stronger when we unite
We are here to waken the love
We are rising strong, yeah we’re rising strong!

Tending the Spark — Heather Houston

A song for these uncertain times. This one moved through me one evening as the Chico fires were raging in CA. Tuning into that reality, and the reality of climate change, feelings of vulnerability, uncertainty, grief, and hope were swirling through me all at once. I asked for a song to drop in, and this is what landed – a gift from beyond.

© Heather Houston
All rights reserved


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


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