Let’s Sing Songs From Around the World
Through music, children can learn both about the common ground they share with a breathtaking diversity of cultures. Here, singer and multi-instrumentalist Kathy Sherman and her excellent Good Folk Collective delivers 16 songs in a multitude of languages, all using native instruments, for a kind of musical world tour. The CD opens with a child-led version of American composers’ Weiss and Thiele’s classic “What A Wonderful World,” followed by the didgeridoo enhanced Australian greeting song ‘Sun Arise.” From Greece comes the animal sound song “To Kokraki,” “Behay Kubo (My Nipa Hut)” is from the Philippines, and the elemental “Turn the World Around” is a calypso version of a Guinean song. The traditional tongue twisting round “A Ram Sam Sam” hails from Morocco, while the beautiful strains of ouds, baglamas (saz)and percussive doumbeks ring out on her rendition of Mosh Ben-Ar’s classic song of peace “Od Yavo Shalom Aleinu,” sung by Sherman and kids in both Hebrew and Arabic. Another highlight is the traditional Native American rattle song with modern lyrics, called “For the Pepper.” The classic South African “Wimoweh/The Lion Sleeps Tonight” receives a spirited performance, as does the lovely Mandarin lullaby “Xiao Xiao De Chuan” (“Little Boat”), and the album closes with the Brazilian popular lullaby by Badi Assad “No Colo Do Papai” (“In Daddy’s Lap”). The album is well conceived, produced and played with respect to cultural traditions, as well as a what catches children’s attention. That said, the glaring oversight that few lyrics, translations or background information about the songs are available as liner notes or on Sherman’s website; hopefully an omission which will be rectified soon.
Lahri Bond ©2020 Parents’ Choice
Lahri Bond is a father, a writer, music historian and an art professor in Western Massachusetts. His published books include Spinning Tales Weaving Hope (with the Stories For World Change Network) for New Society Press and People of the Earth (coauthored with Ellen Evert Hopman) for Destiny Books.