Friday, May 2, 2008

The Lion Sleeps Tonight

Yesterday Tom Santoni, Hastings poet and musician, introduced the children to the music of the South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo. We listened to "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" from the band's album for children called "Gift of the Tortoise." We imagined what it must be like to live in this other world so close to the jungle where at night the lion's roar is alive in the darkness.

Last week the students picked three places they would like to "travel" to and write poems about and Africa, Jamaica and Hawaii were at the top of the list. Anyone with native instruments, music or stories from these countries, we'd love to have you help visit us on our poetry travels. Email us at

Thanks for visiting, Mr. Tom!

Click here to listen to Ladysmith Black Mambazo while you read our poems.

This Music Makes Me

It make me think of how people stay in little huts.
And it make me think how they be getting eaten
by wild animals.
It makes me think of other people.
And it makes me want me me want me want to see
a song.
And it make me want to go African.
And it make me want to go shopping
and waste all my money.
It make me go to church.

Shakira, 5th

Lions Sleep Tonight

I think I am in
the forest with no way home.
I’m here by myself
in a lion’s dome. I say
Time to make myself
at home but not too long. I must creep light
I know the lions sleep tonight.

Jontae, 5th

I don't want to be eaten by a lion.
My family won't let that happen.
We have a fire and our fathers'
strong arms to protect us.
Mama sings to comfort us
and says, "Don't fear, my darlin,
the lion sleeps tonight."
I don't want to be eaten by a lion.
Neither do I want to eat a lion.
I'll eat rice and beans instead.
Then the lion won't want to eat me.

Tom Santoni


What if it
was you? What would you do
in the same skin?
The same some day
Will not the people in Africa think
getting bit?
One million people die in Africa
a day next time you
complain think about people
in Africa and say
It coulda been me.

Praising the Lord

It reminds me of people
praising the Lord having
a great time
they clapping
and praising
the lord
when a loud roaring sound
comes through
when they
get a shiver
they start locking
doors and still
trying to praise
the lord but
they are still
praising the lord.

Byranna, 5th

The sounds of the lion sounds like it’s trying to
tell all the animals to go to sleep
But the song reminds me of
African people hunting
for food and people dying by lions.

Trevis, 5th


The jungo is like smooth lotion and
a smooth tree. It smell just like me.
The Jungo songo is like a fungo fungo songo sound
like a lion.

Janeshia, 3rd

I think of people in Africa
who don’t have anything to eat and
how they have to struggle in life
and all those people who have
a good life don’t even care but if
the Africans had a chance at a
good life they would appreciate it.
Some people always complain about
how bad their life is the only
people should be complaining is the
Africans. Sometime they even have
to sleep in the rain, storms and
cold. The nights storm when rain pours
down on them it’s like something bullying them
and humiliating them.
So everyday you should be thankful for what you have.

Jameka, 5th

The Wild

I think of of poor people
that need health and food
houses that will protect them
from the wild animals. I wish
I could help them give them
food and houses so they won’t
have to hunt.

Joshua, 4th

Black Panther

When I think of
a blank panther I think
that it has sharp teeth
sharp claws and with
shiny black fur like
when they purr. The
way I see those golden eyes because
they run with all of
their pride.

Matthew, 4th

It make me feel like people
dying and people that walk around
that got disease and other families
having a good time around the fire
and other people just walking along
and poor

Ranesha, 4th


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