Tuli Tuli

The Bird Sings Oral Tradition Song Library

Tuli Tuli

Tuli Tuli is a song from the Nama people who live in Namibia & parts of Botswana. It is sung as a play or work song to signify that all is going well & to inspire children to keep up the good work. Thanks to Maggie Wheeler for information about this wonderful song. An easy teach with very satisfying harmonies for community singing. The melody is in the low part. 

Composer & Copyright

Traditional song from Namibia, in the public domain.



Tuli– tuli– tu–li tuli–
Tuli– tuli– tuli– tuli–

Si – we nan-de  si- we si-wa
Ho- siam tan -ta, tan-ta, tan-ta

Kids part:

Si -wa si
Ho- siam tan-ta, tan-ta ,tan-ta

Teaching Notes

In this arrangement I have a soloist as a caller to let the chorus know which verse to sing and with our choir we have the children singing the “Si-hoa-na…” part in the second part of the song, over top of the 3-part adult choir. We sing this one without drums.


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

  • Bee

    Anyone know the chords to this song ?

  • Hi Lisa! Same question as Roy – I love this song but am trying to find information about what the words mean. Thanks!

    • Jen Kazen

      Hello Kaitie! The best we have for meaning is in the description above. Thank you.

  • Hi Lisa… my singers love this song. I always get asked what the words mean. Do have any idea?

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