Music Trekking: Here Come Our Mothers

Here’s To Our Mothers!

Although Mothers Day as we know it is not recognized all over the globe, there is not one single culture that doesn’t celebrate the roles of mothers, grandmothers and similar figures in their folklore, stories and songs. Do other cultures love their moms and like to sing about them? You bet they do!

This month I wanted to share a song and video from the Zulu tradition. It’s called “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Presents.” It’s a song I learned from the wonderful South African performing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The lyrics are in English with a chorus in Zulu, so the song is really easy to understand and enjoy.

Are you wondering what’s going on in the song and why the mothers are bringing presents? If so, you’ll probably enjoy the story behind the song that explains what is happening.

It would appear that Zulu moms are very much like any other moms – they work very hard all year long. For most of these moms living in small villages, they plant and grow food. After they’ve harvested their crops and saved what they need, they take the rest to town. There they will trade for other supplies to last the rest of the year. And, with the little bit of money that’s left over they will buy something special for their children. Maybe it will be a delicious piece of fruit or a special sweet only made in the nearby town. In any event, the kids consider this a really exciting day.

While the moms have disappeared on their trip to the market, the young people are at home waiting. On that day, they try their best not to fight with their siblings or cousins. They try to listen to their elders and they may even do extra chores without being asked. All this is done in anticipation of their mom’s return. When the mothers can finally be seen coming over the hill, the kids burst out into song. In the song, which is sung a bit different every time, they imagine what goodies they might be able to enjoy once their moms are safely and happily back home again.

If you sing this song you can make it different each time. You can add the names of fruits or vegetables you might like to get from the local farmers market or grocery store. You might add the names of treats or sweets you like and pretend that you’ve spent a whole day waiting for your mom to surprise you with them. Wouldn’t it be fun if the song said “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Maple Candy,” or maybe shaved ice from the Tuesday Market?! Feel free to play with the lyrics. That’s what a folksong is all about!

How will you celebrate Mother’s Day this year? Does your family have a special tradition? Comment here so we can learn more about the wonderful things you do to celebrate the special moms in your life!

If you like this video and want to color some pictures from it, you can download the coloring pages here:


Award-winning children’s performer, DARIA (Daria Marmaluk-Hajioannou) has created 7 cd’s that have won national honors. She has the most awesome job of traveling the world to sing for kids and peace. Her “world music for kids” website,, was given a 2009 Parents Choice Award for its musical and cultural content.  She has also created a multicultural kids video site as well as My Favorite Multicultural Books.

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