Come Colours Rise

A South African Christmas Carol. Version for SATB Chorus and Orchestra

Grant McLachlan

Publisher: Theodore Presser Company
Print Status: Rental

Quick Overview

Frank Barry and I wrote Come, Colours Rise in 1995 in the wake of the euphoria following South Africa?s first democratic elections. It has become enormously popular in South Africa, being sung by dozens of choirs of different sizes and backgrounds. It has had many performances throughout the world.

Come, Colours Rise is both a Nativity anthem and a call to all Africans to unite in faith.

It was also composed partly in response to the many Christmas carols we sing in South Africa mentioning snow, which many of us have never seen!

The inspiration for Come, Colours Rise was Archbishop Desmond Tutu?s reference to us as the ?Rainbow Nation.? The rainbow and other images refer both to the natural beauty stirring our pride and love of our country, and also to the beauty of our people?s different shades of colouring.

The refrain is sung in both English and Xhosa, a South African language related to Zulu:

Come, colours rise Yizani zintlanga vukani
Under African skies Phantsi kwezulu le Africa
Christ has come u Yesu ufikile

The ?zulu within the second line means sky, and the Zulu people call themselves people of the sky.

Available on Rental

Scores & Parts

Come, Colours Rise - Octavo - SATB, Piano
Come, Colours Rise - Octavo - SSA, Piano

Additional Information

Commission Commissioned by Richard Cock and the National Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Choir of Johannesburg, 1995.
Composition Date 1995
Duration 00:04:37
Orchestration SATB (or SSA) Chorus; 2 2 2 2 - 4 3 3(B.Tbn.) 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.