Sing a Song

The cockatiel is much better, pretty much back to his old self. He whistles to go out, but the weather is getting cooler and I don’t want him to get sick again. He’s no youngster.

I was hoping to get a video of him singing ‘Jan Pierewiet’, but he spots the phone immediately and hides behind his slice of brown bread, peering out suspiciously. I was hoping he would become an internet sensation – Cranky Cockatiel, more famous than Grumpy Cat. Maybe next time.

It’s such a pity that so few of my students are willing to sing. I don’t know if it’s just a local thing, but most of them won’t open their mouths. Singing has fallen away at the schools, which may be part of the problem. We used to sing everything from nursery rhymes to folk songs and whatever was a hit at the time. Also so often people laugh at a child’s first attempts to sing. It takes practice, okay! It’s not surprising that many don’t try again.

In my last post I mentioned the Anthem Project. The South African Anthem is something of a patchwork. Five languages (Afrikaans‚ English‚ Xhosa‚ Zulu and Sesotho) and two different tunes. There is a clear change in the middle when it shifts from one to the other and changes key as well.

The first tune is a hymn, previously banned as it was used as an act of defiance by the ‘revolutionaries’. The second is parts of the original anthem in English and Afrikaans. And remember Afrikaans was the language of the oppressors. Yet it is in there. Musical unity indeed. We sometimes forget how far we have come, problems or not.

They are judging the finalists at the moment. Here are links to a couple of my favourites.

One of the finalists – Wonderful voices!

A cappella – unaccompanied singing.

And Marimba Jam

Another finalist

And the last finalist.

A Baroque version.

And opera.

We have elections today.

Nkosi sikelel’ Afrika – God bless Africa


About notewords

Guitarist, Music teacher, Writer
This entry was posted in Challenges, history, Life, music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Sing a Song

  1. joliesattic says:

    That is absolutely beautiful. How inspiring to watch these kids light up their faces in song.

  2. Kat L. says:

    So glad to hear that the cockatiel is fine again! There’s a cockatiel whistling The Imperial March from the Star Wars on Youtube and it makes me laugh out loud every time I hear it. Maybe one day Mr Cranky Cockatiel will become internet sensation too! 🙂
    I’ve just listened to the first linked version of the anthem and it’s so beautiful, I love how their voices sound together! I’ve been in a choir in a musical in Dublin last year and it’s amazing how difficult it is to sing well together in harmony when nobody should try to show off, but work with all the others. But the result can be amazing!

  3. So glad that your cockatiel is doing better! And thanks for sharing the info about the Anthem project – very inspiring 🙂

  4. joey says:

    I’ll agree with you on youth singing here in the states as well. It’s not near as common. We have a musical family, but I think we’re unusual compared to my peers and their families — there was a lot more singing when we were young. Maybe it’s more pressure to be perfect?

  5. We sing Nkosi Sikeleli with my choir!! It’s one of my favourites

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