Panjea

by Chris Berry

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about

Chris Berry
(Composer, Arranger, Instrumentalist, Dancer, Teacher, Lecturer and Performer)

Chris Berry was only 13 when his introduction to traditional African drumming set him on a musical pathway that would eventually lead to the number one spot on Zimbabwe’s Hit Pick list (the Zimbabwean equivalent to Billboard’s Top-40). The songs that occupied this coveted position for four consecutive months were featured in Mari ne Chitna, an album that remained at the top of the charts for the entire year of 1992. Mari ne Chitmawas one of two best-selling albums that Chris, along with several of Zimbabwe’s and Mozambique’s finest musicians, recorded in Africa. Two additional successful albums were recorded by Chris and his band Panjea in the United States.

Chris Berry’s long story, compiled in a relatively short period of time, centers around his multifaceted life as a talented composer and arranger, accomplished instrumentalist, energetic dancer, inspirational teacher and electrifying performer. All of these roles have been enhanced by Chris’ work, over a period of eight years, with the National Ballet of Zimbabwe, the National Dance Company of Mozambique, Ballet Du Congo, Black Umfolosi (Zimbabwe’s internationally renown acapella group), as well as numerous groups of traditional dancers, drummers, and mbira players in Central and Southern Africa.

Currently, Chris divides his time between two continents, Africa and America.

While in Zimbabwe, Chris conforms to the popular culture by speaking fluent Shona and adhering to traditional Shona customs. In addition, he serves as a guide for Kunzwana, a Zimbabwean based, non-profit organization, “dedicated to the promotion and dissemination of work by performing artists and instrument makers in exchange for fair reward.” Throughout Africa, Chris is a respected mbira dzavadzimu player and is often employed as an equal partner with other master mbira players at mabria (ceremonies dedicated to calling on the ancestral spirits).

In the United States, Chris tours the country, teaching workshops, lecturing and performing individually as well as with his band, Panjea.

Fueled by an ever-growing passion for African culture, music and dance, the journey that began in 1982 continues to consume Chris Berry’s undived time and attention. According to Chris, “my journey is one that is best when shared with others.” Apparently all the people touched by Chris Berry’s life and work would agree.

credits

released January 1, 1996

All songs have been written and produced by Chris Berry
The cover illustration is by Rujeko Dumbutshena

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Track Name: Panjea
Just the other day, a baby boy was born
Named him Panjea
They want a better world
Just the other day, a million babies were born
Need a place to live
They say they want a better world

Movement of the people, to change the ways
Got to walk to proud line these troubled days
Movement of the people, positive day
Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea
Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea

The past is the past
Oh people let’s let it be
The future is our journey
Just the other day, the children, millions they came
Said they want a better world
They say they need a place to live

Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea
Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea

People of the world, can you see who we are
Look toyourself, the truth ain’t very far

Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea
Ona na Panjea, Ona na Panjea
Track Name: Ndombokoolay
Ndombi Ko Ndombi Salamusombi
Yea yea yea Yeahday

Ndombi Ko Ndombi Salamusombi
Yea yea yea Yeahday

Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay,
Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay

So please, please children
Don’t do as we’ve done
Now even the food is hungry.
Deadly rays come from the sun
Respect and be respected
Preserve and be preserved
Let’s give the children what they deserve

Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay,
Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay

Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay,
Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay

Do what you will and harm none
It’s life’s right to live
To be in balance
To take and to give
So as the sun shines on a new day
So may the same light be shed on a new way.
Look into the young one’s eyes
Do you want their demise?
It’s for the children that we pray

Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay,
Ndombokoolay, Ndombokoolay
Track Name: Ambassadors of Peace
Ambassadors of Peace
Stand and be counted
For it’s later than you think!
The battle is hearty!

Marin Luther King was a very great man
Whose words in these days need we understand
It was said not to judge another by the color of their skin
But by the content of their character.
Words from the prophets people listen but don’t hear
They continue to live in fortresses made of fear
Walls of segregation have now been brought down
So why in the tears of history must we drown?

When history isn’t our story anymore?
Leave the racists to ear their brutal creeds they hold as sacred
For how can life be found in bread made of anger and hatred?
Let the racists fight each other down
In their pools of confusion themselves they will drown
Let those of us who understand that we are all humans with hearts,
Join hands!
Come together to show those who preach division
A new vision

Ambassadors of Peace
Stand and be counted
For it’s later than you think!
The battle is hearty!
Ambassadors of Peace
Stand and be counted!
Join hands with those of like minds
Regardless of color.

Leave the racists to eat their brutal creeds they hold as sacred
For how can life be found in bread made of anger and hatred?
Let the racists fight each other down
In their pools of confusion themselves they will drown
Let those of us who understand that we are all humans with hearts
Join hands!
Come together to show those who preach division
A new vision

People, why keep on with the old rules when today’s a new game?
Not all fruit from the same tree tastes the same
Track Name: Forgive Them
Forgive them for they know not what they do

Forgive them for they know not what they do
I know the blind can’t see, but if they only knew

You hear them preaching their words every day
To God they say that there’s only one way

If life is an arrow, everyone must be their own bow
Don’t let them tell you that there’s one path to follow

Forgive them for they know not what they do
I know the blind can’t see, but if they only knew

It is so wrong for everyone to sing their own song
If God is within, what souls can you really win?

In the minds of the people your scriptures you engrave
But are they set free of mentally enslaved

Forgive them for they know not what they do
Track Name: Proud Line
All these hardships that I faced from the start
I use as a stone to sharpen the blade of my heart
And with this blade I will cut myself free
From the nets that would bind and keep me
Cause from the right path they don’t want me to find
But I won’t be misled by any false sign

Gotta walk the proud line, my friend
Gotta walk the proud line

Gotta walk the proud line, my friend
Gotta walk the proud line

As we walk along this road of years
You replace my hopes with fears
Your seconds are the streams
Which carry away my dreams
Time, must you be my enemy?

My pain is a seed of knowledge I must sow
With blood and sweat, into wisdom it will grow
Ghosts of fear and insecurity
You’ve bent me enough, now let me be
You can’t keep me down ‘cause through my struggles I only gain
The strength and wisdom to see me through your storms of lightening, thunder and rain

Gotta walk the proud line, my friend
Gotta walk the proud line

Gotta walk the proud line, my friend
Gotta walk the proud line
Track Name: Rujeko
Rujeko, Rujeko!
Rujeko, Rujeko!

You’re African
Me American
Some say our love ain’t right
Racist people of the world
They’d see us dead, cleared right out of sight

Their insecurity makes them call our love impurity
But what could be more pure
Than my love for you?

Rujeko, Rujeko!
Rujeko, Rujeko!

Rujeko, Rujeko!
Rujeko, Rujeko!

Pity racist people
They clothe themselves in shame
Covered in confusion
They know not positivity’s name

No matter what they say, no matter what they do
They can’t keep me from loving you
Fear not the beasts of prey
Our love they could never take away

Rujeko, Rujeko!
Rujeko, Rujeko!
Track Name: Rocking Down Racism
We rockin’ down racism every day
We rockin’ down racism in every way
We rockin’ down racism every day
We rockin’ down racism in every way

Don’t judge me for the color of my skin
Judge me for who I am
Don’t judge me for the color of my skin
Judge me for who I am

We rockin’ down racism (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rock it every day (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rockin’ down racism (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rock it to stay (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rock it every day (Rock it down, rock it down)

Hey yea yea day (Rock it down, rock it down)
Hoo ooo ooo (Rock it down, rock it down)
Hey yea yea day(Rock it down, rock it down)
Hoo ooo ooo (Rock it down, rock it down)

Not all fruit from the same tree tastes the same
Nor does one man own all the rain
Judge not a man by the color of his skin
It’s the heart that makes us human

I know what I know,
And this I know
Racism never makes a world go
We rockin’ down racism every day
We rockin down racism in every way


We rockin’ down racism (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rock it in America (Rock it down, rock it down)
We rock it down in Africa (Rock it down, rock it down)
Rock in down in Russia too (Rock it down, rock it down)
Rock it down in South America (Rock it down, rock it down)
Rock in down in Cuba (Rock it down, rock it down)
Rock it down in South Africa (Rock it down, rock it down)

Rock it down!
Hey yea yea day (Rock it down, rock it down)
Hoo ooo ooo (Rock it down, rock it down)
Hey yea yea day(Rock it down, rock it down)
Hoo ooo ooo (Rock it down, rock it down)
Track Name: Revolution
They’ve searched for the answers
But answers they can not find
We no longer move ahead
We fall further behind

Science and politics have been oh so unkind
They told me all the answers
To life they could find

21st century
Is now at hand
We’ve got to make a change
We’ve got to take a stand

And if Revolution
Is the only solution
To rid this world of its pollution
Then revolution is on the way

Step back and stand aside
We’re coming through
No longer will we hide
Cause we’re the new generation
And we want a new nation

There’s nothing they can say or do
To stop us from coming through
For the sake of this earth and the children
We’ve got to find something new

Revolution
Is the only solution
To rid this world of its pollution
Then revolution is on the way
Track Name: Lone World
Why do I feel so alone
In a world full of people?
So many faces
Not so many hearts

Looking ahead of you,
Who do you see?
Is it, oh
Is it anybody?

You reavh for your brother’s hand
But does he understand

You say you love me,
But do you know me?
You reach out to touch me,
But will you, will you feel me?
You’re looking into my eyes
But do you see me?
Do you see who I am?

Sailing across a sea
They call life
The waters are rough
And they are filled with strife
You’re the captain
And you’re your only crew
Will you make it through?
What will you do?
Track Name: Music is the Medicine
Music is the medicine
World is the patient
We are the doctors
Are you ready for this?

All your political schemes
and your economic dreams
but none of them seem to be about the people
Think about the people
You never think about the people
Because its the people
That run this country
its the people
its the people
Watch out for the people
You know its the people

Music is the medicine
The world is the patient
We are the doctors
Are you ready for this?

Putting money before the hearts
When will your compassion start
When will you think
Think about the people
Think about the people
Think about the people
Got to think about the people
Think about the people
Think about the people
Track Name: Battle My Own
Is this battle my own
Or must I fight it alone?
Nowhere to run
Nowhere to hide
From your own insight, yeah
They say they know
But do they really understand?
Is this battle my own
Or must I fight it alone?

Is this battle my own
Or must I fight it alone?
Nowhere to run
Nowhere to hide
From my own insight
You say you hear me
But do you really know who I am?
Is this battle my own
Or must I fight it alone?

Yeah yayay Get up now
Yeah yayay Get up now
Yeah yayay Get up now
Yeah yayay Get up now
Track Name: What Have We Done To The World
What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?

We called it progress
Will our children call it the same?
How can we go forward
When we don't know what forward means?
Nuclear energy
Was supposed to take us so far
Look where we are

What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?

People
What are we going to do?
People
What are we going to do?
People
What are we going to do?

What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?

From our roots we are so far
That we've forgotten who we are
Valuing triviality
As reality threatens our lives
What good is economics
Without the world?
Now we argue and debate
As we move closer to our fate

What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?

People
What are we going to do?
People
What are we going to do?
People
What are we going to do?

What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?
What have we done
To the world?
Track Name: Where are the Leaders
I said, where are the leaders?
The leaders of today
Cause I look and, oh God
They are leading the wrong way
Seems its only power they seek
As they look down upon us
They call the meek
Must it be capitalism
Married to our democracy?
Oh how can we be free?
Why is money running our country
Oh I've got to say
Where are the leaders
Leaders of today?