Jay Sand teaching an All Around This World class

All Around This World is a unique, interactive global music and world cultures program for children 0-9 years old that encourages children and their families to explore the world by enjoying global music, rhythms and movement. Jay Sand, guitarist and children’s music teacher, world traveler and dad of three girls developed All Around This World with his girls as a way to introduce them to the countries he’s already visited and the many more he plans to visit with them. Through CDs, concerts and workshops, dynamic online classes, engaging homeschool and classroom lessons, “musical maps” and participatory parent-child music-making Jay hopes to make the world a bit smaller one song at a time.

All Around This World is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the charitable purposes of All Around This World must be made payable to “Fractured Atlas” only and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law. Donate here.

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


“…and a whole lot of wiggles.”

Yesterday we met “Walhav Re Nakhwa,” a song from Marharastra sung by the children of sailors on the Indian Ocean. Here is the All Around This World version, complete with rocking, rowing and a whole lot of wiggles.

“We are the children of fisherman, we have no fear of the sea”

This week in class we sing “Walhav Re Nakhwa” is an Indian boating song in the language Marathi, most likely sung in the seas near Mumbai, located in the state of Marharastra. “Walhav Re Nakhwa” is a tune sung by the children of seafarers on the Indian Ocean: “Sailor, you please row the paddle, please row the paddle, We are the children of fishermen, We have no fear of the sea.” I love the sing-song nature of the melody as it evokes the sing-song motion of ocean waves.

Take a deep breath.

All Around This World Global "Everywhere" map

This week in our online class we take a well-deserved breather between seasons. For the last three months we’ve been on an epic journey, learning about enough countries and cultures to make our heads spin. Next we’re going to start another three month voyage to do the same. So in this class we take a break from our deep-diving and sing songs drawn from many seasons.

This week, after singing hello in Egyptian, we go first to western India to sing “Walhav Re Nakhwa,” while we row a boat out onto the Indian ocea. Next we land in Southern Italy – Sicily, to be exact – where sing “Zumba Lariula,” a playful song, in an old Sicilian dialect, about about the machinations around a wedding. From Italy we go to to Egypt, as we become animals traipsing through the Sinai desert, (“Drink the Water”), bounce all the way to Scotland, where we sing “Chi Mi Na Morbheanna” a loving song about our homeland, and end, before singing goodbye in Nubian, we visit Egypt’s working class communities and sing the Shaabi love song, “Wala WaHed.” Non-stop singing, non-stop fun.

Burn it Up

We end our season of travels in Oceania and the Pacific Islands with Papuan musician O-Shen. This video of our favorite O-Shen song, “Burn It Up,” doesn’t take us anywhere, but the lyrics do inspire travel all over the Pacific.  O-Shen’s unique road to international reggae stardom — get it? Say it: o-shen — began in Papua New Guinea where his American missionary parents raised him until he was fifteen. When they returned to Spokane, Washington, O-Shen (born Jason Hershey) had a difficult time fitting in and eventually ended up getting into trouble. (A little burglary, a few years in prison.) After his release O-Shen returned to Papua New Guinea and from there relocated to Hawaii where his PNG-based roots reggae has not only become increasingly popular but also more confidently multilingual–his catalog includes songs in Yabim, Rigo, Nakanai, Kiwai and Niugini pidgin.

What an honor to have you join me over these last few months to sing and learn along about Oceani and the Pacific. Rock on!

It’s the End of the World as We Know It, and I Don’t Feel Fine

Yesterday we watched New Zealand’s “Blam Blam Blam” perform, “There is No Depression in New Zealand,” a song from the early ’80s that satirized the attitude, projected by the Prime Minister, that everything in New Zealand was going along just fine. The song became a theme for the McGillicuddies, a faux political party that reminded everyone that “fine” is a state of mind. An example of the McGillicuddies’ political positions: “The diversion of all of NZ aluminium production away from building US military aircraft and missiles to build giant space-mirrors to melt the polar icecaps and destroy all of the foolish greed-worshipping cities of man in one stroke, thereby returning man to the sea, which he should never have left in the first place .”

In tthis video we watch the McGillicuddies try to invade Wellington in 1986, Alf’s army starts the video and the McGillicuddies come on at 2:22. The actual fake battle begins at 4:16.

Blam Blam Blam

This is our last week of musical adventures in the Oceania and the Pacific Islands, so let’s take the chance to tell at least one musical story we missed. The rock band Blam Blam Blam was one of early ’80s New Zealand’s most popular and controversial acts. Their hit, “There is No Depression in New Zealand,” atirized the attitude of polarizing prime minister Rob Muldoon who many believed was glossing over the needs of the population. In the early ’90s the song experienced a substantial revival when a “joke” political party, The McGillicuddy Serious Party, ran adopted it as their national anthem. Blam Blam Blam disbanded in 1984, though they reunited for some concerts in 2003. The McGillicuddy Serious Party disbanded in 1999, though they re-emerge every so often to do battle. More about the McGillicuddy Serious Party tomorrow.

One Last “Ana Latu”

One last version of “Ana Latu,” a Tongan love song, and one of our favorites from our season of songs from the Pacific Islands. The performance is this video is by the California-bassed roots reggae band, Vintage Music Collective. In class when we sing “Ana Latu” we usually preface it with the acknowledgement that there are a lot of Pacific Islands goodbye songs, lamenting the leaving of a friend. Before the advent of airline travel any voyage from the Pacific islands would be long and treacherous. perilous at best. When our friends would leave we would know they would eventually be coming back but we’d never really “know.”

Those in Love Will Understand

Yesterday we met the bittersweet Tongan love song, “Ana Latu,” about spending one last night together before your love must go. In class when we sing it we sing, of course, but we also sway, bounce, wiggle and go ’round. It’s a beautiful song; sing along with me:
He ooi oi auee
Ana Latu
We walked on the beach
You loved me, I loved you
Our footprints in the sand,
When you held my hand
Became one path;
those in love will understand.

Ana Latu, We Love You

“Ana Latu” is a love song from Tonga, an island nation in Polynesia. The song is a lament, telling the tale of the final night we are able to spend with our beloved Ana. We cherish those last moments, and, whether Ana is departing for a trip abroad or whether she has left this world forever, we know we’ll miss her.

Bye Bye Oceania

All Around This World--Oceania and the Pacific Islands

Bravo – we made it! Over the last three months in our online class for kids we’ve traveled together thousands of imaginary miles, navigating endless (imaginary) Pacific seas in an imaginary, musical, dugout canoe. On our voyage we sang some of the world’s most harmonious songs, drummed the planet’s most stirring rhythms and experienced struggle and unending hope. We began in Australia, at the very start of the world, by following our Songline on a life-changing walk. In Papua New Guinea we battled with songs, in Fiji we sat as we danced, in New Caledonia we hopped while shuffling straw. In Guam we ate an orderly feast, in Kiribati we climbed trees for coconuts, in Tahiti we danced with booming hips. In the Cook Islands we sang in a seven part choir, in Hawaii we ate all sorts of poi and New Zealand we became so very strong. This season we celebrated life, the bluest of blue waters and the bluest of blue skies.

Let’s take one more week to bounce around Oceania and the Pacific Islands, making beautiful music together.