A Song For Mothers, From The African Tradition “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Presents”

All over the world mothers are celebrated in stories, legends, poetry and song. The language used may vary, the days to celebrate may be different however, every culture takes the time to show how kids delight in their mothers and how mothers live on forever through their beloved family and children.

A while ago I recorded one of my favorite songs about mothers. It’s called “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Presents” and it comes from the Zulu tradition of South Africa. I learned the song and the story from a wonderful traditional group of singers from South Africa called Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Ladysmith Black Mambazo was formed in 1960 and has been creating beautiful vocal music with South African roots for almost 5 decades!

This particular song is about a group of mothers from a small village. They work hard tending their crops all year long, then they harvest them and go to market. The mothers sell what they have and buy what they need – but a little bit of money is still left over. With the extra money they bring home something special for their children.

On that day in the village, the children are being very good. They are cleaning, working and behaving themselves. And when they see the mothers coming down the road, they break into song – wondering what their mothers may have brought to share with them. They imagine sweets or treats or delicious fruits, or perhaps something that can only be bought in the nearby town.

Here is the video for your enjoyment:

I love to perform this song live and add suggestions from the audience.  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 funny if the song said “Here Come Our Mothers, Bringing Us Slurpees?” or maybe ice cream or gummy worms?  Feel free to play with the lyrics.  That’s what a folksong is all about!

Any time of year, it’s great to see how universal it is to appreciate mothers and all the gifts they bring to their children – those that can be tucked inside a market basket or those that can only be found in a mother’s heart!

Happy Mothers Day To All!


Here Come Our Mother’s Coloring Pages


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