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.
Here is a recording of the song by the Drakensberg Boy's Choir in South Africa.
This expressive melody by Pakistani composer R.F. Liberius invites us into communal grief and lament. The tune can be taught through call and echo, with hand motions providing direction, as well as invitation into the swoops and slides that are an essential part of the musical style. Listen to the recordings below for guidance in pronouncing the Urdu text.
The song can be used in many different contexts: during Advent or Lent, in interfaith or ecumenical worship gatherings, as well as in liturgies centered around themes of justice, peace, and reconciliation.
It can be sung unaccompanied or with a drone instrument (like a shruti box).
Khudaya rahem kar.
Masii haa rahem kar.
Khudaya rahem kar."
"Have mercy on us, Lord.
Have mercy on us, Christ.
Have mercy on us, Lord."
Copyright for the piece is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.
Sheet music is published in the Iona Community's songbook Love and Anger, and it also appears in several songbooks and hymnals.
Here is a video of Scott Weidler teaching the song at our Music that Makes Community Presenters' Retreat at Holy Cross Monastery:
Here is a recording from Sing with the World: Global Songs for Children, compiled by John Bell and Alison Adam.