Brief sound clipThat's the Ugandan singer, Samite, with the beginning of a song about a teenager who is starting feel like he should be leaving childish things and jumping up to manhood. It's from a new CD from Putumayo records called "African Playground," and it's an energizing addition to their series of recordings for children. Part of the proceeds from the sales of the CD go to the Putumayo Cross-Cultural Initiative, which uses music and other art forms "to inspire children and families worldwide to explore and connect with diverse cultures." There are songs here from South Africa and Senegal, Ethiopia and Kenya; songs about butterflies and lions, the pride of place, and a special dance that is done for a sick child. The booklet that comes with the CD offers background about the country of each singer and the instruments and musical styles that are used on each of the songs. Many of these songs are about dancing and working together -- in the villages and on the playgrounds of Africa. And now these joyful songs of friendship can be heard on playgrounds all over the world. For there is strength in numbers, as Tarika Sammy and his friends from Madagascar sing: "If a crowd crosses a river, crocodiles won't eat them . . . Those who want to unite become as solid as a rock." And when that happens, what a dance it is:
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Copyright 2003 © John Cech
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