Ffe Mwe, Mwe Ffe

SSAA, hand drums and perc.

"Ffe Mwe Mwe Ffe" begins with a simple unison call, the energy of community coming together for the common good grows with each interwoven and layered rhythm that enters; most important being the drum rhythm, gwanga mujje—"come to my rescue." A soloist then introduces Mahatma Gandhi's inspiring words, "be the change you wish to see" and Mother Teresa's "we belong to each other." The spirit of this piece shines brightly. It's message: compassion begins when we see ourselves in the "other."

Perusal Score: 
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Commissioned By: 
Aurora Chorus
Premiere Date: 
Premiere Ensemble: 
Aurora Chorus
Premiere Conductor: 
Joan Szymko
See video
Text Author or Source: 
Bantu adages, Gandhi, Mother Teresa & Joan Szymko
Bantu & English

Ffe mwe, mwe ffe

gwanga mujje

Be the change you wish to see.

You can start by looking at me

and knowing that I am you

and you are me.

Ffe mwe, mwe ffe
gwanga mujje

We are them and they are we.

I am them and they are me.

We belong to each other.*

Ffe mwe, mwe ffe

gwanga mujje

* Mother Teresa quote in its entirety: "If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."

Lyrics ©2013 by Joan Szymko


Ffe mwe, mwe ffe / they are us and we are them
gwanga mujje / come to our rescue