Despite how fractured and anxious we have become as a society I think we can all agree that we need more peace and love. We may disagree regarding execution but I think we all desire the end result. I know that music isn’t the only solution, but I think the right music can help ease anxiety as well as promote cooperation.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo has brought home to South Africa four GRAMMY Awards and been ambassadors of the country since the early 1960s. In fact Nelson Mandela designated the group “South Africa’s Cultural Ambassadors to the World.” It is indeed an honour and one to which the band is well-deserving. They’ve collaborated with artists including Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton, Sarah McLachlan, Josh Groban, Emmylou Harris, and many others.
This, their latest album, maintains appeal for everyone although it is aimed toward our little ones. Albert Mazibuko, one of the members of the group, explains their motivations well. “We want parents to have a collection of songs to listen with their kids, songs that hold important messages. We know, first hand, how hard it is to raise children in a world of conflict, in a world where children need positive role models and positive words. We hope our songs can be an important part of the lessons of peace and love that all parents want to impart to their children.”
Songs of PEACE & LOVE continues the musical integrity the group has maintained for over fifty years. They’ve still got the same sound and some of their songs will be downright familiar, like Old MacDonald, although I doubt you’ve ever heard it sung before in Zulu. My children’s favourite song was Everything Is So Stupid, which is prefaced with an explanation that children and parents don’t often see eye to eye on appropriate behaviours or requests. Even so, we all are required to work together, despite our differences.
If our children are lucky they will never experience the ravages or war, terrorism, or other forms of brutality. There are still innumerable reasons they need to learn to be cooperative, understanding, and compassionate. Songs that preach the ideal of peace and love as well as demonstrate how that can work on a small scale can help children learn these attributes. In this album even the titles of the tracks speak of the album’s intended message, including: Different Colors Mean Nothing to Me, All Women Are Beautiful, Sit Down and Make Peace, Love Your Neighbor, and Go Well and Peace Be With You.
The music is worth the listen in it’s own right, the message makes it necessary. This music and its message could not be more timely offered to us. We would all do well to know these songs and live the messages therein.
Go well, and peace be with you.
I received this album free of charge for the purpose of this review.
This has in no way affected my opinion.