From the recording Happy Feet
"Happy Feet" Featuring Michael Robinson, Anna Louise Spencer and Ken Kuriki
"Happy Feet" is set to a Highlife beat and has met with great success working with children. On this recording you can hear the kids from the audience singing along with us, and it's amazing how 550 kids singing in tune and in rhythm can shake the house and thrill one's ears! The melody is simple, no lyric, simply "Ba Ba Da Ba Doo Ba Ba". The soloing on this recording features the Hammond playing of the fantastic Gilles Erhart, the fiddle playing of François Michaud, and then the vocal improvs of Anna Louise Spencer and Ken Kuriki. What is interesting is that the school kids in the audience are moving their feet, clapping in the rhythm while singing "Gonna come, gonna come, our Freedom is gonna come" and at the same time listening to the musicians improvise. I think there is something really special going on here for the kids and for the musicians, too. The afternoon show for the kids was one of the finest moments of my musical life so far.
The selection of "Happy Feet" to kick off Act 2 is a deliberate one, because singing was a very important element in keeping people together as the marchers approached Washington DC for the momentous occasion that lay before them. The Freedom March was not always easy, sometimes even dangerous yet so many people believed in what was happening that there was no stopping this army of whites and blacks together in their quest for equal rights for all!
NARRATION : On August 28th, 1968 hundreds of thousands of people, black and white, young and old, rich and poor, from almost every state in the country peacefully marched together to the seat of the Federal government in Washington DC. They bore witness to the never ending racial barriers that had barred black people from sharing the fruits of the most prosperous nation on Earth. This was a happening the likes of which the country had never seen before!
Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba, Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba 2X Yesterday, we were so sad Oh so sad Heads were hangin’ we were feeling so bad Ooh, March to Freedom... But then we heard a change was on the way The March for Freedom goes to Washington today Now we got Happy Feet, Happy Feet, Happy Feet Marching to a Freedom beat Happy Feet, Feeling Proud, Happy Feet And you know we’re feeling proud We got Happy Feet Listen to us sing it loud, Sing it out now! Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba, Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba Now I tell you what... SAY WHAT? No more feeling sad and low We’re gonna get on up GET ON UP! and move on down that road And we are not afraid of their bullets or their guns We’re gonna shout out to the world that our Freedom is gonna come Gonna come, Gonna come Our Freedom is gonna come (Ad Libs) Yesterday, we were so sad Oh so sad Heads were hangin’ we were feeling so bad Ooh, March to Freedom... But then we heard a change was on the way The march for Freedom goes to Washington today... Sing it! Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba, Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba 2X Oh I tell you we got Happy Feet, Happy Feet, Happy Feet Yes we got Oh we got, Marching to a Freedom beat Yeah we got Happy Feet, Feeling Proud, Happy Feet And you know we’re feeling proud We got Happy Feet and you can hear us sing it loud, Sing it! Ba..., ba da ba doo ba ba, Ba..., ba da ba doo ba... BA!