so is life

Turn The World Around

by Harry Belafonte

In 1977, Harry Belafonte released the album Turn the World Around. After focusing on pop for several albums, it was a return to interpreting folk songs for other cultures, and was reviewed as “an absolute triumph”. Despite being recorded here, it was never released in the US.

The title track, however, made it to the United States by way of Jim Henson and the Muppets. From Wikipedia: [Turn the World Around] became the focus of one of the most acclaimed performances on the successful television series, The Muppet Show, where Belafonte explained the artistic theme of the song before performing it with specially designed puppets that resembled African tribal masks. Series producer Jim Henson considered this production to be his best work on the series, and featured it in numerous retrospectives of his art; Belafonte performed the song again at Henson’s memorial service in 1990.

This simplified arrangement comes from our choir member and assistant leader Sara Stutz, based closely upon the arrangement by Maggie Wheeler.

Leader:
We come from the fire, living in the fire
Go back to the fire, turn the world around
All:
We come from the fire, living in the fire
Go back to the fire, turn the world around
We come from the fire, living in the fire
Go back to the fire, turn the world around
Leader:
We come from the water, living in the water
Go back to the water, turn the world around
All:
We come from the water, living in the water
Go back to the water, turn the world around
We come from the water, living in the water
Go back to the water, turn the world around
Leader:
We come from the mountain, living on the mountain
Go back to the mountain, turn the world around
All:
We come from the mountain, living on the mountain
Go back to the mountain, turn the world around
(We do sing this twice, although it only happens once on the recording)
We come from the mountain, living on the mountain
Go back to the mountain, turn the world around
Oh, oh, so is life
Ah, ha, so is life
Oh, oh, so is life
Ah, ha, so is life
Leader:
Do you know who I am?
Do I know who you are?
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are?
All:
Do you know who I am?
Do I know who you are?
See we one another clearly
Do we know who we are?
Oh, oh, so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life
Oh, oh, so is life
Abatiwaha, so is life
(on the recording there is a second pass of this, but we only do it once and then move on to – )
HIGH:
If you’re interested, Click Here forĀ  a conversation about what Abatiwah might (or might not) mean.
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