Heartbeat

Kyle Pederson (2019)


Voicing: SATB with divisi
Accompaniment: piano, djembe (or similar), and optional bass drum

English text:
Before you say the thing you're thinking to say,
before you give the look you gave yesterday,
remember....he's got a heartbeat. 

They and us, her and him,
you and me, we and them,
remember...all have a heartbeat. 

Red or blue, black or white, 
no matter who, just like you...
all have a heartbeat. 

If you would turn your head and take a good look,
if you could stand in her shoes right where she stood, 
you'd remember....she's got a heartbeat.

All creeds, all shapes, all sizes,
none of these is what defines us,
but what binds us...
is in our heartbeat.

Shona text and translation:

We all have a heart beat 
Isu tose tine kushaya mwoyo

We share the same color of blood
Isu takabuda ropa rakafanana

We all are one race, the human race
Isu tose tiri rudzi rumwe, rudzi rwevanhu.

And together we are strong.
Uye pamwe isu tine samba

Notes:

I am indebted to the members of the University of Pretoria Youth Choir (South Africa) for the Shona lyrics they crafted for the "gospel drive" section.  Shona is one of the main languages spoken in Zimbabwe, and the juxtaposition of English and Shona text reinforces the message that no matter our politics, skin color, religion, or other characteristic-- at heart, we are one.