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 South African traditional song from the singing of the Mooiplaas congregation was transcribed and arranged by John Bell of the Iona Community.
To lead it, sing through it once or twice, perhaps reinforcing the shape of the melody with your hand. It's easy enough that folks will start singing with you quickly. Encourage harmony and add the leader part once the group is confident.
"Woza nomthwalo wakho,
Woza nomthwalo wakho,
Woza nomthwalo wakho,
English singing translation:
"Come, bring your burdens to God,
come, bring your burdens to God,
Come, bring your burdens to God
for Jesus will never say no."
Copyright for the piece is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.
'Tar a Thighearna' was composed by Ruth Cunningham. The text in Gaelic is translated, "Come, Lord, come thou Being." Ruth and Ana Hernandez recorded it on Blessed By Light, one of their albums as the duo Harc.
Sheet music can be found in Singing In Community, our latest songbook published by Augsburg Fortress.
Here's a video of Rachel Kroh leading 'Tar A Thighearna' at Union Seminary in September 2015:
Here's a lovely recording of the song by Ana and Ruth.
Here's a link to a recording of Emily Scott singing the song and then making some suggestions for how to lead it paperlessly, from the resources Emily has been compiling for the song leaders at St. Lydia's in Brooklyn.
This is a gorgeous setting of an Orthodox funeral liturgy, written by Daniel Schwandt at our MMC Composers' Gathering in Brattleboro, VT in 2013.