September 6, 2004

The Thula Project: South African Lullaby Compilation

thula_project_cd.jpgThis CD takes its name from "Thula Mntwana," the Zulu version of that mid-night staple of new parents everywhere, "Hush Little Baby." Have you heard it? It goes a little something like this:

"Hush little baby don't you cry/ Mama will buy you a horse and cart/ If the horse and cart breaks down/ You will still be my beautiful child... [Hush little kid, it's sleepin' time/Guess Zulu lullabies don't have to rhyme or fit in meter]"

Anyway, those lyrics are from the liner notes translations. The fifteen tracks are sung in a dozen different languages [not that there are 180 tracks, I mean that--oy.] by as many different artists.

WorldVision has a radio feature story on the album which includes interviews with a few of the artists, the producer Philip Miller, and clips from several songs. It's pretty cool. [listen to the mp3 here]

One song, "Railway," sounds pretty depressing; it about South African men who have to leave their families to find work. It goes, "The railway makes me crazy/ because it takes away my babies' father."

Here's a review from the SA Sunday Times, and a shorter one from the Mail & Guardian.

You can order The Thula Project from SA music site Kalahari.net for R150 (about $US23) plus shipping, or from Buy Music Here, a non-profit which supports public radio in the US, for $28.95 [yeah, wonder how those options are gonna break out].

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