African Composers Edition

Online publisher of African compositions

Lehlabula

Mohapeloa wrote Lehlabula (JPM011) in the early 1930s, publishing it in Morija in 1935 as song No. 11 of 32 in his first song collection, Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika. It is a gentle ‘barcarolle’ about the relief that summer brings to Lesotho after a long winter, describing lazy drifting clouds, warmth, rain, fertile mountain slopes, and occasional thunder; an idyllic image of Lesotho’s rural landscape. The flowing musical lines with occasional chromatic notes and unexpected dissonances recall Western songs that Mohapeloa was exposed to when he was at school. There is even a hint of the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ in bar 17, perhaps unconscious, but it does remind us that Christmas in Lesotho is in high summer.

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