E Malama – Bryan Kessler or Mark and Sharie Anderson

I learned this gorgeous chant first from Marion Van Neman at Esalen, then again from Kaitie Tye Warren at LA SongFest. My arrangement is most similar to one by Nikomo. I changed the key and arrangement a bit to adapt it for treble voices. Singing this one in unison, or just one or two harmonies is just as powerful!! That’s how I do it in my Sisters In Harmony circles. Only in my advanced choir do we sing all of the parts.

A Hawaiian saying meaning:
“We must do what’s right to take care of our sacred ocean and earth”

Lyrics:

(E malama ay)
E malama i kai eh ah
(E malama ay)
E malama i kai eh ah
(E malama)
E malama pono i kai eh ah

This song is in the public domain

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

Hope Lingers On – Low Lily

By Low Lily (Lissa Schneckenburger)

A beam of hope in these trying times! The miracle cure… choosing love over hate and fear.

Lyrics:

My mother, when love is gone
My mother, when love is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My father, when peace is gone
My father, when peace is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not hate and I will not fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
My sister, when equality’s gone
My sister, when equality’s gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My brother, with tolerance gone
My brother, with tolerance gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not hate and I will not fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
My love, when honor is gone
My love, when honor is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
My country, when justice is gone
My country, when justice is gone, in our darkest hour, hope lingers on
I will not and I will fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here
I will not and I will fear, in our darkest hour, hope lingers here

Used with permission

© Lissa Schneckenburger
All rights reserved

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

Re-Wild My Soul – Heather Houston

This beautiful chant poured through me one morning in a meditation on my sister’s land in Northern WA. With Mt. Baker above me, Canyon Creek below me, sunshine, wind, eagles, vast sky and forest all around me, I went into a deep state of communion with the land and allowed this song to move through. It doesn’t make grammatical sense entirely, but it’s easier to teach this way. Enjoy!

Lyrics:

Oh river, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to flow with ease again I am ready, take me in.

Oh mountain, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to lift mine eyes again I am ready, take me in.

Oh eagle, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to fly so free again I am ready, take me in.

Oh vast sky, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to be spaciousness again I am ready, take me in.

Oh soft wind, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to be clear and cleansed again I am ready, take me in.

Oh sunshine, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to shine with warmth again I am ready, take me in.

Oh forest, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to trust this path again I am ready, take me in.

Oh mama, re-wild my soul Help me let go of control Show my heart how to beat with yours again I am ready, take me in.

©Heather Houston
All rights reserved

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

www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

Lyrics:

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.

Ise Oluwa from West Africa

This beautiful chant from Nigeria is sung in the Yoruba language. A favorite to sing with my shruti box layering in harmonies as we go.

Arrangement by Heather Houston

This song is in the public domain.

Meaning:
God’s good work will never be destroyed. I like to think of it as the Creator’s beautiful work lives on for eternity.

Lyrics:

Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh
Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh
Kole baje oh
Kole baje oh
Ise oluwa
Kole baje oh

Rising Strong by 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 in our nation. This song flowed through shortly after the Parkland school shooting happened.

© Heather Houston 2018
All rights reserved

www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

As always, you are welcome to sing and share my songs. All I ask is that you give credit and tell the story if there is one. If you need practice tracks for your groups, please use my SoundCloud files. Thank you!

Lyrics:

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.

Part 2 and 3:
Ooooo….

Part 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!

Let the Light Shine In by Heather Houston

An inspirational multi-layered song inviting us to open to the love and trust in the Source.

© Heather Houston
All Rights Reserved

As always, you are welcome to sing and share my songs. All I ask is that you give credit and tell the story if there is one. If you need practice tracks for your groups, please use my SoundCloud files. Thank you!

Lyrics: 

Part 1: Opening to the love, trusting in the Source, moving with the flow of the water.

Part 2: Listen Deeply

Part 3 & 4: Let the light shine in, Hallelujah

Part 4: All is well, let the light shine in

Difficulty Level: 3

Sto Mi E Milo from Macedonia

My a cappella quartet, SIRENZ, and my Yala Lati Women’s choir loves to sing this beautifully uplifting song from Macedonia! With my song circles, I will just teach the first verse. A song of hope and a vision of normalcy in a war torn part of the world. Tight harmonies and a 7/8 rhythm keep it interesting. I learned this song from Kitka, who learned it from Ethel Raim.

Used with permission from the women of Kitka

Sheet Music: Please contact Heather through her website. www.heatherhoustonmusic.com

Translation:

Oh, how I’d like to have shop is Struga! To have a shop in Struga where I can sit at the front of the store and watch the Struga girls go by with their colorful water jugs on the way to the cold stream to meet with their friends there.

Lyrics:

Sto mi e milo, milo i drago
Vo Struga grada, mamo, Dukan da imam
Le le varai, mome, mome Kalino
Vo Struga grada, mamo, Dukan da imam

Na kepencite, mamo, da sedam,
Struskite momi, mamo, momo da gledam
Le le varai mome, mome Kalino,
Stuskite momi, mamo, momo da gledam

Koga na voda, voda mi odat
So tija stomni, mamo, Stomni sareni
Le le varai, mome, mome Kalino,
So tija stomni, mamo, stomni sareni

Na ovoj izvor, izvor studeni,
Tam da se sdruski, mamo, sdruski soberat
Le le varan, mome, mome Kalino,
Tam da se sdruski, mamo,
Sdruski soberat.

Difficulty Level: 8