Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu / Go With Us, Lord, and Set Us All Free - South Africa (Xhosa)


This South African Song in Xhosa is roughly translated “Go with us, our Savior” and comes from the repertoire of anti-Apartheid Freedom Songs written in the 1970's and 80's. It was shared with the MMC community by Paul Vasile, who learned it from Pamela Warrick Smith. In the spirit of music from many African contexts, the song invites opportunities for improvisation and adding actions/themes specific to the community's needs or experiences.

We have seen leaders share it as zipper/pocket song (i.e. Go with us, Lord, and give us your love/joy/peace) or deepen its communal spirit by crafting new verses (i.e. Come walk with us and share in our bread/...and join in the song). It makes a powerful sending song.

"Hamba nathi Mkhululi wethu"

There are several poetic translations of the song into English, not all faithful to the original Xhosa:  

1. You Are Holy, You Show Us the Way
2. God With Us, Lord, and Set Us All Free
3. Come Walk With Us, the Journey Is Long (Anders Nyberg)

Teaching note from Paul Vasile: When you lead Hamba nathi, make sure that you keep a steady beat so the group feels the syncopated rhythm of the tune. I teach the tune first and once that's set offer the bass line. If folks don't intuitively add harmony (almost every group I've taught this to has), outline parts.


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