Kalimba Americana for the Alto
An Inspiring Medley

Kalimba Americana

Last month we introduced a new instructional download, which includes the tablature for 30 pieces for the Alto kalimba called Kalimba Americana. Sunday, July 4, 2010, I was visiting my parents in Longmont, Colorado, and I had the opportunity to play the Prelude at their Church - First Congregational Church of Longmont. I put together this medley of five of the songs from the Kalimba Americana download.

These five songs tell a story, moving from the proud militarism of The Marine's Hymn and The Battle Hymn of the Republic to the more nostalgic and sentimental patriotism of My Country 'Tis of Thee, flowing through a dreamlike segue into the anti-war anthem Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream, and ending with one of the most powerful patriotic songs of the 20th century, We Shall Overcome, the theme song for the civil rights movement.

This medley represents an evolution from right to left. In the middle sits the nostalgic "My Country." Yes, OUR country. Whether your politics sit on the right or the left, it is OUR COUNTRY. Really, OUR WORLD. We have to live together on our planet. We have to find common ground. And music is the perfect metaphor for coming together on our planet, in beauty, in love, even in nostalgia. As long as we can sing together, there is great hope for peace.


This medley begins with the militaristic "Marine's Hymn"
and finishes with the theme song of the Civil Rights movement.

This takes me back to my dream of a million kalimba players bringing peace to communities across the globe through their transformative kalimba music. Could the brutal savagery of war be defeated once and for all by a million kalimba players standing together and playing "We Shall Overcome?" Indeed, when I am playing my kalimba, I feel that it could. For me, the intrinsic beauty of this instrument witnesses to a power of good in this universe that is so mighty, so awesome, so TENDER... it must prevail over every bit of suffering that has been, is and will be felt by the creatures in our world. Until then, it is our job to speak truth to power, to make a stand for justice and mercy. Fellow kalimba players, let us play with this faith and keep on keeping on.

OK, I guess I really wanted to give the guest sermon on Sunday July 4, but this medley was as close as I could get to that.

You can learn the songs in this medley yourself, along with many others, when you get the Kalimba Americana download. The complete Kalimba Americana download includes the following titles, with the five songs in this medley in bold:

 

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