The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library


A traditional South African song of prayer and celebration.

Composer & Copyright

Traditional from South Africa in the public domain. Arrangement adapted from Ysaye Barnwell.


Teaching Track

From Lisa’s 2014 Song-a-Day Challenge:

Lyrics & Translation

Babethandaza  – They were praying

Sin nje nje nje ngemi thandazo (x2) – We are like this, like this, like this because of prayer (x2)

Ngemi thandazo, Ngemi thandazo (x2) – Because of prayer, because of prayer (x2)

Oo mama babudale, Babethandaza (x2) – Our ancestors would pray (x2)

Babethandaza, Babethandaza (x2) – They were praying, they were praying.


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