Four of our favourite songs

Our project in Southwark, South London, has been running since spring 2019 delivering weekly sings sessions with the local community.

Here are four songs that are popular with our group – they love to come together and suggest songs from their cultures too.

We think you’ll be singing out loud by the time you finish this article…

Long Time Gal – by Louise Bennett

This well-known Jamaican folk song was taught to us by one of our singers. It’s a favourite of the group and comes complete with dance moves!

Freedom is Coming

This is a South African song and was sung during apartheid as an expression of hope and staying strong during difficult times, and we think that’s part of the reason it’s resonated with our singing group so much. Here’s a version of the song being performed at Glastonbury Festival.

Freedom is coming… Freedom is coming…

Bele Mama

Bele Mama is said to be from the Torres Strait Islands north of Australia, but is originally from Cameroon. “Bele Mama” means “call Mother” in the Oroko language and the rhythm is also from this region. Some say it’s a Swahili song; the words ‘Mbele Mama’ in Swahili mean ‘long time ago, mama’.

Bele Mama, Bele Mama, Bele Mama

I Stand Tall – by Gitika Partington

This song is all about dignity, about standing tall whatever life is throwing in your direction. It has some beautiful harmonies and a lovely sentiment. Here it is being sung by one of Gitika’s choirs, leading into ‘Something Inside So Strong’ (which we’ve not attempted… yet!)

See, we told you they were catchy! 

Singing has been proven to improve your mental health and wellbeing and we think everyone should have the chance to enjoy the benefits. Here are five reasons why singing is good for you.


Voices Welcome: Southwark to launch in April

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We are thrilled to announce that we have received a grant of £10,000 from the National Lottery Community Fund enabling us to launch our very first community choir.

Voices Welcome: Southwark choir will be getting started just after Easter. We have been working with local refugee support centre, Southwark Day Centre for Asylum Seekers (SDCAS) to finalise plans for when and where the choir will take place, and we are in the process of recruiting a Music Director who will lead our first choir.

We already have plans in the pipeline for our first event, so watch this space!

We are extremely grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for its support, and to all National Lottery players for enabling thousands of projects making a positive difference to take place in communities across the country. We are honoured to be one of them, and can’t wait to get started.