My dad tells me that there’s a Spanish proverb that says something to the effect of, “Write a book. Have a son. Plant a tree.” I’ve done the first two and figure I’m covered on the third, because I have two of the second.
When I take stock of things I’ve done that I’m proud of and that are likely to outlive me, the song “Kwake Yesu Nasimama” is pretty high up on the list. I didn’t write the song–just translated it–but there’s no better feeling than finding a great song from Kenya (or elsewhere) and making it available to the larger Church. This Kenyan heartsong has already become the heartsong of lots of people in the English-speaking world.
In any case, the next step was to make choral arrangement of the song. And that’s just what I did. I’m not going to upload the score, because it’s under consideration by a publisher. And though this publisher rarely answers my email, I want to give them first crack at rejecting it before I blog it. But I’m sure I could be convinced to send you the PDF score if you ask me nicely via email…
For now take a listen to this sterile Finale playback, and imagine a heartfelt performance: MP3
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That song makes me cry when we sing it. I am sure I’m not the only one. 🙂
I hope in a good way!
Could you comment on how you found the original Swahili song?
Hi Marian – I first heard the song in Uganda, where a group of Kenyans led it in worship. Since then I’ve met a number of Kenyans; without fail, they know this song. Seems to be the “Amazing Grace” of Kenya. (Although it’s based on “The Solid Rock.”) Just let me know if you need any other information about it.
We just returned from Kenya and this song was sung at the last meeting we participated in and the tune keeps running through my head. It was a favorite when our family my lived there so it holds many memories for us. I would love to have a copy of the music as we would like to sing it as a family. Also if you have words in Swahili and English I would have interest in that as well. I’m willing to pay if you have had it published.
I’m so glad to hear that this is a favorite of your family!
There is a published choral version: https://www.giamusic.com/store/resource/kwake-yesu-nasimama-here-on-jesus-christ-i-will-stand-print-g8489. If you scroll to the bottom of this page you’ll find a few hymnals that include the song: https://hymnary.org/text/theres_no_other_place_i_can_hide.