Kiraka’s Lullaby strives to capture the melancholy truth of the life and death struggle that constitutes everyday life in that country. Beginning with what could best be described as a “death toll”, the piece conveys an overwhelming sense of loss and sorrow, then slowly transforms from a funeral melody into a child’s lullaby, the embodiment of rest, peace…and hope.
Genre: Duet for Vibraphone & Marimba | # of Players: 2
Level: Medium | Duration: 5:30
Kiraka’s Lullaby (pronounced “chee-RAH-kah”) was written for an actual little boy that my father found abandoned in the dirt streets of a small village in Uganda, Africa.
“In September 2011, a group of evangelists - a Ugandan translator, an American pastor (myself ) and a retired American accountant – passed by a baby, perhaps 18 months old, living in poverty in the bush country of rural Uganda. His parents had divorced, his mother had abandoned him, and his father did not care for him.
And so the boy sat alone in the dust in front of a one-room mud hut. His distended belly and grayish hair indicated that he was suffering from malnutrition. His swollen, red feet and legs indicated that he also had an infection. He was listless and seemingly unaware of anything that was happening around him. The Ugandan translator saw the child and said, ‘This baby is sick, and has no one to care for him. This happens very often in Uganda.’ And though she had compassion for the child, she moved on. The American pastor looked at the child and was moved with pity.
‘What a tragic situation,’ he thought. And in his heart the pastor prayed for the child. But seeing nothing that he could do to help, he moved on. The accountant looked at the child, and her heart broke open. ‘I can’t abandon this baby,’ she thought. ‘I must do something!’ And so, this woman took action. Through her dogged persistence, the child was taken in by a Ugandan pastor and given nutrition and medical care.”