Uyai mose / Come, All You People

This short gathering song from Zimbabwe is a wonderful introduction to paperless singing. Composed by Alexander Gondo, it is in Shona, a Bantu language spoken by almost 11 million people in the region. The four-part arrangement that appears in many hymnals and songbooks is by John Bell.

Some leaders speak the text aloud first, inviting the community to echo each phrase. Others dive right into the music, inviting the community to learn the melody through call and echo. Harmony parts can be lined out in succession and, once confident, an upper-voice descant adds to the energy and shape of the song.

The song can be sung unaccompanied. If instruments are added, shekere (dried gourds) or marimbas would be appropriate to the context, not drums.

Uyai mose, tinamate mwari. (x3)

Uyai mose zvino.

Pronunciation tip: Shona's five vowels are pronounced as in Spanish. Each vowel is pronounced separately even if they fall in succession.

Singing translation (I-to Lo):
Come, all you people, come and praise your Maker. (x3)
Come now and worship the Lord.

Copyright for the piece is held by GIA Publications, Inc. so you'll need a OneLicense membership to print the text or music.

You can find sheet music at The song is also printed in several denominational hymnals and Global Song Collections. 

Lisa Littlebird has created teaching tracks for leaders who want to learn and teach parts.

Here is a recording from Sing with the World: Global Songs for Children, compiled by John Bell and Alison Adam.


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