Two African Pieces

Mangwani Mpulele / Ise Oluwa

Arranger: Andrea Ramsey

Arr. © 2015 GIA.


Item #: G-8801     Status: Available

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Vocal Forces: SA

Accompaniment: Reduction

Text Source: 1. Sotho folk song; 2. Yoruba (Nigerian) song

Series: Music for Young Voices, Young Voices-ES

Difficulty Level: E/M


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.

SA voices with improvised percussion

Categories: Children/Youth, Choral/Vocal

Topical: 2. Creation, Trust, Faith

Number of Pages: 4

Language: Sotho; Yoruba

Format: Octavo

Suitable for Children: Yes

Discipline: Choir