I'm looking for African-style songs of praise that could be used in our (English-speaking) congregation!

Our church is raising money over the next 5 weeks to feed children in an orphanage in southern Sudan ... we are so excited about this, and the orphanage is in great need.

To keep the missions goal and our Sudanese brothers and sisters ever before our congregation, we want to incorporate the djembe and congas more, as well as a shakere or other African percussion if we can come up with it.

Specifically, I am hoping for some ideas on well-known songs that can be done in an African style ... or something easy that we could learn in this short time frame.

Any ideas?

(also if any Minnesotans have a Shakere I could borrow for March ...)

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Hello Tricia,
Here's a YouTube link to one of my favorites with an African beat. I've got a version that actually uses an African dialect, but couldn't find it on the net anywhere. The other version is more d'jembe/hand drum heavy without the horn section, though I add my horn in with it.


What's well known? How about "Over All the Earth" by Brenton Brown? You blend that together with the feel of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al" (from his "Gracelands" album, itself a masterful blend of Western Pop and Soweto stylings) and you'll have a groove from the right continent.


Another one that comes to mind is "Who Paints the Skies into Glorious Day" by Stuart Townend. That was written in a very African style but music should be easy to track down - you'll find lots of versions on YouTube, eg:





Who paints the skies was the song I thought of too.


Having been part of a church with lots of white Africans, my experience of the way they perceive 'African' music is very different to what we expect. Much less 'Lion King' and much more like a bad impression of rock'n'roll. I suspect different areas have very different styles and rhythms.


You could also try Hallelujah, glory glory He reigns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-8unGIqRqc

Yes - "African" is a pretty broad brush (it has to be to cover 11.7 million square miles, home to diverse cultures).



The most recent Lutheran hymnbook has some actual African praise songs, with English words (good translations that fit the rhythms).  I just flipped through one while visiting a church -- they were near the 600's or so.  Simple, and way enjoyable.


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