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!

La mar estaba serena
Serena estaba la mar (repeat)

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.


Mama Gaia – Heather Houston

A tribute to our beautiful Mother Earth. This one flowed through on a warm Spring day in 2020 with the energy of gratitude in my heart! Sung in a round. It’s quite challenging vocally, so make sure that you and your participants are good and warmed up, and invite them to breathe deeply.

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

The Earth Delights – Heather Houston

Original Poetry by Khalil Gibran

A beautiful reminder of the intimate dance we do with the more than human world. This has been a favorite quote of mine for over 20 years, and I woke up one morning this Spring with this sweet little melody moving through. I love the syncopation of the harmonies. It’s so fun to play with the rhythm on this one. A fun challenge for my circles of singing women, and yours!

© 2019 Heather Houston
All rights reserved


The earth delights to feel your bare feet
And the wind longs to play with your hair