Summertime in Lesotho

Mohapeloa’s Lehlabula (Summer) paints a lazy picture of drifting clouds, warmth, rain, and fertile mountain slopes: “The times of snow and wind are gone”, the lyrics say, “the countryside is magnificent, wearing a blanket of greenery from the rain and the warmth. The sky is decorated with circles of slowly moving white clouds. Everything is pleasing, even the thunder, kirrrrrrrrrrrrrr!” A portrayal in words and music of Lesotho’s summer landscape, whose occasional thunder is a relief to farmers after the long, cold, dry winters in this tiny mountain kingdom of southern Africa. Lehlabula is a gentle barcarolle for 5-voice choir (SSATB) with a hint of ‘Silent Night’ in bar 17 to remind us that Christmas in the southern hemisphere is in summer. Mohapeloa first published Lehlabula in 1935, in a collection called Meloli le Lithallere tsa Afrika (Songs and Sounds from Africa).