African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions


Christmas was published in Morija, Lesotho in 1955 as song No. 1 of 29 songs in Hosanna: Lipina tsa Kereke (Hosanna: Church Songs). How and why this collection of songs from different eras in Lesotho’s Christian history by several authors and composers was chosen by the (anonymous) editor, we do not know, but clearly the songs were intended for use in the Church of Basutoland, and they celebrate the major Christian festivals, especially Christmas and Easter. Mohapeloa’s eight songs in Hosanna are longer and musically more complex than most of the other songs in the book, or the hymns of the Sesotho hymnal Lifela tsa Sione (The Songs of Zion), and are effectively anthems for church choir. Mohapeloa no doubt wrote them for the Lesotho Evangelical Church choir in Morija (Mohapeloa’s home), which he conducted during this period. The robust style of Christmas emulates a Handel or Mendelssohn chorus, and it is easy to imagine it accompanied, as part of an oratorio.



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