Monday, 7 March 2011

The Millennium Song

Cover of the CD of The Millennium Song,
published by the Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Dove of Peace stained glass by Leo Theron
Eleven years after we recorded the Catalan video of The Millennium Song ("La Cançó del Mil·lenni") in December 1999, I have finally uploaded it to youtube at "YouWomanGroup" — you can see and listen to it below.  I wrote the English lyrics of this song on the theme of Chopin's prelude op.28 no.20 in C minor (originally intended as a funeral march, but which becomes distinctively re-born in my arrangement!). Then a colleague at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) Anna Asian translated it into Catalan, and a friend Merché Bellido made the Spanish version, with the idea starting to develop into a full-time project.  The UPF rector at the time, Enric Argullol, liked the multicultural aspect and decided to publish a CD of the song as the university's official 10th anniversary gift (above): in English and the four languages of Spain — Spanish, Catalan, Basque and Galician.
Gurdeep Stephens
Bronwen Forbay
Gurdeep Stephens recorded all these versions as well as the Norwegian and Occitan translations.  My friend Volker Hooyberg and his son Nicholas organized that Sibongile Khumalo — without a doubt, South Africa's most famous singer — record the Zulu translation.  Volker also involved an up and coming South African opera singer, Bronwen Forbay, to record the Afrikaans and German translations. A Slovenian version was recorded in Ljubljana by Nuška Drašček.  The backing tracks of the song were recorded by the Santi Careta Group.
Nuška Drašček


At present there are about 80 translations of the song, all available at  The Slovenian version recorded by Nuška Drašček (left) was broadcast at minute one of the year 2001 on Slovenian national television. The song was also presented in Beijing, China, at the year 2000 meeting of the International Educational and Resource Network (IEARN), which led to its being sung in a five-continent video conference, organized by BECON in Florida, simultaneously linking up schools in the USA, Spain, Norway, Kenya, Japan and Australia, with children singing it in their languages to one another.

See and hear the Millennium Song in Catalan and English, sung by Gurdeep Stephens:

La Cançó del Mil·lenni               The Millennium Song
Ara ve el temps,               Time has come to change,
Temps per canviar,               Time to find new life,
Deixar el passat,               No more looking back,
Perdonar l'ahir.               Let's forgive the past.
Dóna'm la mà,               Take my hand, friend,
Junts construirem,               We'll go on as one,
Un món diferent,               To a different world,
El mil·lenni nou.               The third millennium.

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