Hoja Ke Nonyana

(If I Were A Bird)


choir SATB
Michael Mosoeu Moerane Scholarly Edition

The lyrics of Hoja Ke Nonyana draw on descriptions of earth, sea, sky, sun, and clouds but especially powerful is the metaphor of the setting sun as a nesting bird, which the narrator imagines finding after flying far enough to see where the sun sets. The music wings us on this long, strange journey of discovery, beginning in a slow and dignified way and gathering speed as it goes along. Moerane attributes authorship to Bennett Makalo Khaketla, although on both pages of the typescript, the initials before ‘Khaketla’ are partially erased, which raises the possibility that the poem might be by Khaketla’s wife, ’Masechele Caroline Ntseliseng, who in fact wrote far more poetry than her husband. In order to help choirs learn this song, a free mp3 of the lyrics spoken by Mpho Ndebele is downloadable when the song is purchased along with a rehearsal mp3 of the song at a slow tempo.
Duration: 3’00”

The audio sample below was generated from the Sibelius file of the score and the image on the right shows the first page of the score.


Electronically Generated