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Adorn the Darksome Skies (2014)

by Northern Harmony

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Hi my friend, how are you my friend? The fire will burn in here. It's about time, you are about to see fire works! We are here with a great company. Now is the time, the fireworks are coming! We are here with great company. We’ve got them, they look confused!
Jerusalem, my home that I love, when will my wishes be fulfilled so that I can rest in you. I long for you, New Jerusalem; my wishes shall be fulfilled when I come to you.
Katerina dear, beautiful and desired girl, you’re also big trouble. Why does your mother scold you each evening during dinnertime? She scolds me, my crazy young love, every time, because of you. Each time when you pass by our front gate, you don’t pass by quietly. You throw stones at the apples to knock them down and with the stones you also break the windows.
A young girl plants a pine tree. She says, “Grow up big and tall. Then I will climb to the top so I can see what my sweetheart is doing. If he is sleeping then I will wish him pleasant dreams. If he is drinking then I will say, to your health, but do not get drunk! If he is flirting, then do not get involved in serious love.”
O dove, your words make me melt, like the wax of a candle.
O Lord of Hosts, be with us, for beside Thee we have no other helper in adversity. Have mercy upon us, O Lord of Hosts.
I am alone and you’re just fine. Why do you torment me so? I love you and you hate me. How am I supposed to like that? God will punish you for hating me so.
King Tamar, jewel of the world, how beautiful you are!
The song tells of a military campaign against a neighboring village led by the brothers Murza and Bekzil.
Who is floating across the manor, Green Ash? The Sun is floating across the manor. What is she carrying, Green Ash? She is bringing gifts. Who is floating across the manor, Green Ash? The daughter-in-law is floating across the manor. What is she carrying, Green Ash? She is bringing thin, white, clean cloth and towels. Whom did she meet in the gateway, Green Ash? She met her father-in-law. I gave father-in-law the towels, Green Ash. Father-in-law did not say a word.
Oh Lord what have we done , we are dying on this earth because of this HIV/AIDS We have lost our youth, we had lost our loved ones. Give us strength oh Lord, give us strength to fight this HIV/AIDS.
A girl, Vesela, swings in the village square. One by one, the villagers each give her a push on the swing. But Petur comes along and gives her one push and two kisses!
Ilija is building a monk’s cell when along comes Irina. She says, “take me into your monk’s cell; I want to become a nun.” Ilija replies, “you can’t become a nun because you have black hair and playful eyes”. But she responds: “I will dye my hair and cast down my eyes so that I can become a nun and come live with you in your monk’s cell.”
Mmamoshimane is one of several Sotho words for ‘mother-in-law,’ here referring to the mother of the groom. The song describes a moment in the marriage ceremony rituals when the bride - who wears a wedding veil and has painted fingernails - is enticed to leave her in-law’s home to stroll and dance in the street with her husband. A symbolic gift of money from the wedding guests is demanded by the household in order to allow the bride to come out and be admired by all. Hence the phrase, “go boleta tshelete” - “money talks!” - at the end of the song.
The walls of Jericho fall to pieces! They fall!
These kids are really silly. Oh I will tell mom. Mom, did you hear these kids, they are silly and they make me angry. They say dad doesn’t wash. Oh I will tell dad.


First formed in 1993, Northern Harmony has gained a wide reputation through concert tours across the United States, the UK and western Europe. The ensemble is part of Village Harmony, a Vermont-based world music organization which sponsors an extensive program of traveling singing camps, workshops and performance tours.

Northern Harmony is formed anew for each extended concert tour, and draws personnel from the wider community of singers who are veterans of Village Harmony ensembles. Our autumn 2014 tour included two weeks in the US, and six weeks in the UK, Switzerland, France and northern Germany.

We were very fortunate to work intensively with Capetown composer and choir leader Bongani Magatyana during our rehearsal period.

These recordings were made on location in various churches in Germany and Switzerland. Editing by Larry Gordon. Final mastering by Common Ground Audio, Montpelier, Vermont. Cover design by Dan Mohr.


released May 20, 2015

Director: Larry Gordon

Singers: Emily Adam, Jen Morris, Sophie Michaux, Megan Henderson, Adam Simon (tambura), Kimaya Diggs, Nicki Perez, Zoe Christiansen (accordion), Gabriel Kyne, Sam Long (guitar), Isobel Arthen, Lexi Ugelow, Lysander Jaffe (violin), Adam Riggen, Gretchen Carroll


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Northern Harmony Vermont

First formed in 1993, Northern Harmony has since gained a wide reputation thru concert tours across the US, the UK and western Europe. The ensemble is part of Village Harmony, a Vermont-based world music organization that sponsors domestic & international performance singing camps, workshops and tours. ... more

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