Two African Pieces


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1. “Mangwani mpulele” is a Sotho folk song of the Bantu people in South Africa, Lesotho, and Botswana. It was made popular in the United States by The Kingston Trio, a prominent part of the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s. One rendering of the text into English has:

Aunt, open the door for me. I am getting wet with rain.
Whether it’s here or whether it’s there, I am getting wet with rain.

2. “Ise oluwa” is a well-known Yoruba (Nigerian) Christian song that was made widely popular by the African American singing group Sweet Honey in the Rock. It was first arranged (or perhaps composed) by Thomas Ekundayo Phillips (1884–1969), the “father” of Nigerian church music, when he was organist and choir director at the Anglican cathedral in Lagos, Nigeria. The translation of the text is: The works of God cannot be undone.

Improvised percussion should be played throughout both songs, intensifying where percussion “fills” are indicated. Appropriate instruments include: djembe (or low-sounding hand drums), shekeres, agogo bells, or gourd rattles.

Additional information

Weight 0.035 lbs


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