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June 2019
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Cheryl's CD

Cheryl's Children CDJust thought some of you might like to know that Cheryl's Children's CD is finished, produced and manufactured! And we have them in our hands, and it is quite emotional to be honest....

SO much to say about it....I am enclosing the artwork for the CD cover. Colm Henry did all the artwork, made up of photos taken by myself, Colm and Maeve. And we are thrilled the way it has turned out. A lovely guy called Noel Cullen at Dolphin Records in Dublin (same company as Dara which did our "We are not islands" CD) gave us an incredible deal on it, and we have got about 1700 of them made, for now anyway.... and as always every cent will go to Cheryl's Home.
I posted a single copy off to Samuel this morning, and another single copy to Patrick Musa also, as he had so much involvement on the CD, including an original song!

Cheryl's Children CD

 Cheryl's Children Booklet

We are very excited and thrilled... and when we think about each child's individual story...and then see their picture on the front of their own CD, and their individual names inside.... it is quite honestly all too much!
Just thought you'd like to know....
Love to each and every one of you!
James XOXO

It might be quite a nice thing for people to know that from right to left at the back are Kevin (in green) - Maeve's Sponsor Child, then Joseph peering out in the Yellow Brazil shirt, then Collins in the red looking awfully serious (John's Sponsor kid)... and the others too! I enclose the second page of the booklet now so you can see the names!! And the little one on that page...the by now famous Chico!
James X

... and if you are intrested to purchase this CD - please contact us (see link on top of website) and we'll pass on your requests!


To find out more visit the Facebook site dedicated to the CD


And here's a review our dear friend Gertraut sent in:


The Cheryls Children CD, do they sing for us or do they sing for themselves?

I got it via Anja, signed for me by James and now is the first time I heard all the songs in the given order. Before I picked out this one and that one, loving them all for different reasons. But this time I just sat down before my computer, doing nothing else but listen&

Starting with Richard Carpenters Top of the world and James says this is the one they like best, you start wondering why. And he gives the answer himself by quoting Kevin saying because I am alive. How happy they sing it, it is a joy to listen! Wonder if we are on top of the world because of that, maybe we should consider it  more often&
Now comes Gospel Train and what I read about that made my hair stand on end. It was used by the slaves to alert other slaves that a group was preparing to escape and the white owners were unaware of what the song meant, they would simply hear the religious references. Wonder if the children knew that when they sung it? Or did they just mean the escape they made themselves? And enjoy the rhythm?
The third one is Disneys The bare necessities, Terry Gilkyson wrote it and got an Academy Award for it in 1967, when it was used in the film Jungle Book. I love that when it says the bare necessities of life will come to you and you should not spend useless time in looking for something that cant be found and it looks as if for these children this came true! James throws his voice in now and then and Maeve too, fits wonderfully!
Moyoni I took to my heart when I heard it for the first time, I did not understand one word because it is in Swahili. It touched me more than all the other songs and looking around in every conceivable place I found out that this is a Gospel Praise, simply meaning In my heart I have Jesus. First I could not make out why it touched me so much but then I realized that these children seem to have learned to trust again, otherwise they could never have sung it as they did. The thought made me cry and it will be my favourite always I think.
Difficult for me now to switch to the hilarious Supercalafragilistic from the lovely Walt Disney Musical Mary Poppins. I really admire their ability to get that word around their tongues but knowing how senseless words appeal to children (or the creating of new ones) I can understand  what fun it was for them!
The next one is from a musical I loved almost all my life, it is Happy Talk from the wonderful musical/film South Pacific, based on the interesting book by James A. Michener Tales of the South Pacific. I dont think the children will have thought of the song Bloody Mary sings to Liat and John Cable, egging them on to make their love-dream come true. I think it will have been a song for themselves to tell each other: If you dont have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?
Another song from a childrens film follows, telling about the Inchworm that is just measuring the marigolds and never stops to see how beautiful they are. It is from the biographical film about Hans Christian Andersen, a great one to make children dream& I visited the museum in the house where he was born in Odense and was stunned by all the wonderful stories this man did think through, even if some of them hurt? Could it be the children tell each other not to measure only, but to enjoy beauty when they see it, singing this song? Maeve and James join in sometimes, lovely!
The next one is all speed, the Judy Garland Song Forget your troubles, written by Arlen & Koehler for the musical Summer Stock in 1950. Guess, it is mostly forgotten, but this song lives on, urging everybody to chase all the cares away and get happy. It is a wow for me, how can these children sing in a foreign language so fluently! But then I think they take the lyrics to heart and so they can do it&
Consider yourself at home by Lionel Bart, who wrote it when he was 28,  what must this mean to these children, who knew being homeless in its worst sense? I got the Charles Dickens book Oliver Twist when I was about 8 years old and I could never forget this haunting story. How could grown ups treat children like this? How can people treat children like they are treated in the Kibera Slums? Ill never understand and what must it be for them to consider themselves at home in the buildings of Cheryls? No wonder they like to chant this song from the musical to themselves  as a gang, not Fagins gang, but a proud Cheryls Gang!
Another love of mine  Nipishe Njia in Swahili is next, praising God and His Greatness. If I found the right translation, it should mean Show me the way. Well, doesnt everybody need someone to show him the way? I guess they have found this someone where they are now and the way they sing it they are happy&
Edwin Hawkins wrote the lovely Oh happy day and James said the children in Cheryls started with this song to sing in harmony, before they had always sung in union. But I guess this is the one to make it easy for them to go into harmonies when they sing & he taught me how to watch, fight and pray and live rejoicing every day! I found this song under memorable music and I am sure this will be memorable for them, for it is Happy Days NOW for them!
All of us know the wonderful Amazing Grace that John Newton wrote more than 200 years ago and as long there are people who live and believe in a higher being, it will never go out of fashion. It is the first time though that I heard children sing it and it touched me deeply. This amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found& what could be more appropriate for these children than this sentence? Wonder what the kids felt when they recorded it in July 2010&
Labi Siffred anti Apartheid Song So Strong is next, we know and love it at least since it was on the second CD by the Celtic Tenors a couple of years back and I admire the pluck to make a song like this when times in South Africa were so troubled. And these children certainly need someone to hear their voice, not only for themselves, but for the countless other children in slums. James and Maeve help along. So it is very appropriate for these kids to sing it so beautifully, it suits them&
There is now only the bonus track left, that rap that was written and performed by Patrick Musa and sorry  we cannot understand it because it is in Swahili. It is called Dont cry and makes me wonder if it means dont cry because it wont help as nobody listens to you! Now this would really be most terrible and I gather enough from James, as he said  we were given a heart- breaking translation of the middle section of it and we all cried. But then it helps to know that Patrick is now out of the slum and maybe helps himself to heal by singing about that time&

So what conclusion do I get to now? Did they sing for themselves or for us? I guess both. For themselves, for this singing has a healing quality and for us to let us know about children like them and  asking us for help, not begging, but proudly showing us what they can do and give in return to us!