One reason I love the Islands: The music #1

Posted on March 6, 2012


I used to be a musician many years ago. Perhaps that’s one reason why I love visiting the South Pacific Islands as much as I do – the music is amazing.

Music is very important in these tribal cultures. There was no written language before the early missionaries, so music was (still is) used to capture stories about significant events so they can be passed down the generations. But it’s even more than that. I have yet to hear an Islander with a bad voice or unable to hold a tune!

In Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Nuie, Cook Islands, etc) the church choirs are outstanding! I have been to many different churches in different cultures and I have to say the accapella Methodist choirs of Tonga (sorry to my other Polynesian friends) are the best. No instruments. No pitch pipe. The conductor waves his hands and the chior finds the first note perfectly. In harmony and loudly.

I don’t have a video of a Tongan church choir,
but I do have a clip of a young Tongan lady who sang for me.

The young lady’s name is Tiulipe. When in the Islands I love to visit some of the local people who have become disciples through our Pacific Partners radio and discipleship ministry. I visited Tiulipe’s family in Nuku’alofa (Tonga’s main town) and while we waited for her mother to join us, Tiulipe sang to express her love for Jesus and gratitude for our ministry.

Which illustrates another reason why I love the Islands. This girl stood in the front yard of her house, next to the street, and unashamedly sang for Jesus. Didn’t care who might be listening, she just sang with child-like spontaneity, boldness and abandonment.

Here she is. Tiulipe singing Kalevale (Calvary). Enjoy and be blessed!

I’d love to hear what you think of this music.

Posted in: Culture, Mission, Music