Shida Nyingi

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Shida Nyingi

This is a two-voice Swahili song that the Wholehearted Chorus learned directly from members of the Maassai tribe in Kenya. It is one of the more challenging foreign language songs to learn in this library, but wonderfully worth it.


Recording by Lisa G. Littlebird.


The lyrics are written here phonetically for easier learning.

Shida nyingi za nizunguka
Oh zaduniam baya hizi
Bwana yesu atanipanya o nia ko-e
E siku ile

(Bwana wa) Bwana wangu O bwana wangu, O bwana wangu, bwana wangu
Unioshe e unioshe oniwe safi
Makoni pako

Approximate Translation

Though my troubles may be many,
My lord comforts and guides me

Oh my Master,
Wash me clean with your sight

Teaching Notes

Most of my singers have found this surprisingly challenging to learn, but once they have it they absolutely love singing it. Go slow and take time over several meetings to get the words. I usually sing this without percussion but it could work well with drums as well.

This recording is in E with a starting note of B.


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


  • Thanks a lot! Best wishes from Vienna/Austria!
    Whenever you come to my town, you are welcome!

  • Ok, you got me hooked on this beauty! Thank you for sharing it – I’ll be teaching it to my choir this Fall. Blessings to all!

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