Seven Principles

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Seven Principles

A powerful song from Sweet Honey in the Rock that shares and celebrates the seven principles of Kwanzaa. This is a slightly simplified but faithful version of the sheet music from J.W. Pepper.

Composer & Copyright

Original song by Bernice Johnson Reagon. Sheet music is available from J.W. Pepper.


Recording by Lisa G. Littlebird.



Callers: Umoja
Responders: Unity that brings us together

Responders: Kuujichagulia (x5)
Callers: We will determine who we are (x3)

Callers: Ujima
Responders: Working and building our union

Callers: Ujama
Responders: We’ll spend our money wisely

Callers: Nia
Responders: We know the purpose of our lives

Callers: Kuumba
Responders: All that we touch is more beautiful

Everyone: Imani
We believe that we can
We know that we can
We will any way that we can

Teaching Notes

The moving tonalities and intricate harmonies make this an investment to learn, but Wholehearted Chorus learned one principle each week by oral tradition for seven weeks and did great!


Level of teaching speed/ difficulty (1 = very easy, 10 = very challenging)

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