1. We Are Happy (Hola!)

We sing “We Are Happy” as our hello song at the beginning of every All Around This World Latin America class, changing the greeting to match the featured country of the week. “We Are Happy” didn’t start as a Spanish hello song, but instead as a mashup of two songs the Abayudaya of Uganda sing to greet important visitors to Nabugoye Hill, which is a small area a few miles outside of the Eastern Ugandan city of Mbale. The Abayudya of Uganda are a small community of about 500 Luganda-speaking Bagandans who have been practicing Judaism for over 80 years. Abayudaya community leaders Rabbi Gershom Sizomu and his brother JJ Keki wrote the two greeting songs and led the community in singing them for Jay when he first visited in late 1999.

Country Uganda (original)/ On CD:Dominican Republic
Language: this “Spanish hello song” was originally in English, Luganda and Hebrew
Genre on CD: Merengue
Instruments on CD: Piano, Trombone, Trumpet

[wpspoiler name=”Lyrics of All Around This World: Latin America version” open=”true” style=”aatw-video”]Ooh, bop bop bop! Ooh, bop bop bop.
We are happy, we are happy on this day.

¡Hola everybody! (“Hello” in Spanish),
Bom dia everybody! (“Good morning” in Portuguese),
Buiti binafi everybody! (“Good morning” in Garifuna),
Imaynallam everybody! (“How are things going?” in Quechua)[/wpspoiler]

How to sing with Jay each week in your home or classroom Support All Around This World on Patreon Enjoy interactive All Around This World lessons in your home or classroom


Vocals: Jay Sand

Piano/Keyboard: John Stengel

Drums/percussion: Francois Zayas

Instrumental engineering: Mark Wolfe, AudioMind, Philadelphia

Vocals engineered by Erich Miller, Philadelphia

You can listen to the original verson of "We Are Happy" on the Smithsonian Folkways release, Abayudaya: Music from the Jewish People of Uganda.
"We Are Happy" and "Hello" © Gershom Sizomu and J.J. Keki, arrangement by Jay Sand with permission, Instrumental arrangement by Arturo Stable

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