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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Multilingual Song Playlist on Unity, Diversity, Peace and Tolerance

last updated January 22, 2020

posted by Catharine Hannay

I've been feeling discouraged by the news and decided to cheer myself up by looking for songs about peace, tolerance, and doing our part to change the world.

This is part of a popular series of Song Playlists for Teachers on topics like mindfulness, compassion, gratitude, and forgiveness. I always include a wide variety of music styles, but this is the first time I've done a multilingual playlist. I hope you find some favorite new songs!

Asalamo Aalekom (Peace Be Upon You), Shadia Mansour
audioArabic Lyrics with English Translation
"Peace be upon you. I want peace from me to you. Hear me. Bring the boys and the girls. Raise your voices, lets break the glass... No difference between me and you."

Cambiar el Mundo (Change the World), Alejandro Lerner

video by Artistas Unidos (with captions in Spanish); English translation of lyrics

"You can change the world in an instant. You can change the world if you want that to happen. changing the world starts with you."

C'est dur d'être doux (It's Tough to Be Sensitive*)Grain de sable
(*literally: "It's Hard to Be Soft"); video

"Boys are supposed to love playing ball, firefighters and their trucks, adventures... Me, I draw flowers... It's tough to be sensitive, but I don't mind."

Cuando Se Acabara (When Will It End?)Manny Oquendo

"Cuando se acabara?... el racismo en el mundo. No hay amor, no hay respeto... Los ricos, lo que tienen, con los pobres no comparten."

"When will it end?... racism in the world... There isn't love, there isn't respect... The rich don't share what they have with the poor."

Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace)

performance by Cantus (Norway); performance by Seoul Catholic Singersperformance by Spectrum Choral Academysolo ukelele by Samantha Muir

Latin: "Dona nobis pacem."

English translation: "Grant us peace."

Every Color is a Good One, Rechov Sumsum (Israeli Sesame Street)
video (in Hebrew with English subtitles)
No matter what color someone is, you can smile and say "Shalom." Moishe Oofnik (the Grouch) thinks all people and Muppets are "equally annoying because color makes no difference."

Hate, Sean Forbes 
Sean Forbes is a deaf rapper who performs in English and American Sign Language.

"Only Love can drive out hate... Victims are lessons from which we don't learn... It's tough to put the genie back in the bottle. But something needs to happen now, not tomorrow... I hate that we have to deal with this. I hate that our children are exposed to this... Hate, go away. In my home, you have no place."

I Just Wanted to Say Hello, ABC Pocket
video in English with greetings in 10 languages

"Aloha. Konnichiwa. Bonjour. Guten tag. Hola. Ciao. Annyeong haseyou. Nihau. Jambo. I just wanted to say hello."

If I Rode My Horse..., Narwhals and Waterfalls
video; lyrics (English with greetings in different languages)

"If I rode my horse to Mexico... I would wave and say 'Hola'... There’re many ways to say hello. It's more than just a word, you know. It’s the actions and respect we show. So grab your passport and let’s go!"

Ken Y'hi Ratzon, Elana Arian
video (in English and Hebrew)

[This song is based on traditional Buddhist and Jewish lovingkindness practice. 'Ken Y'hi Ratzon' means 'let it be so,' 'may it be so' or 'may it be G-d's will.']

Mot'a Benama (Human Being), Henri Dikongué

audio; link to Douala lyrics 

The Google translation of the lyrics makes no sense, so here are the English lyrics from Henri Dikongué Mot'a Bobe CD: 

"Why is it that we like intrigue so?
Why are there such barriers between people?
Why are we fighting like crabs in a basket?
Why is wealth masking the misery of others?
What a pity, what stupidity, what illiberality.

Are cruelty and rivalry necessary in order to succeed?
Is egocentricity needed for one to move forward?
Are deceit and fraud essential for one to win?

Strength makes people think they can get away with anything.
Power makes people think they are eternal.
Riches make people disparage the poor.
What a shame, what sadness, what narrow-mindedness.

Are cruelty and rivalry necessary in order to succeed?
Is egocentricity needed for one to move forward?
Are deceit and fraud essential for one to win?
Are cruelty and rivalry necessary in order to succeed?
Is nastiness compulsory in order to get rich?"

One Day, Matisyahu
lyricsvideo of 3000 strangers who joined together to sing in Arabic, English, and Hebrew.
"All my life I've been waiting for, I've been praying for the people to say that we don't wanna fight no more.
There'll be no more wars, and our children will play. One day."

Peace Anthem, Voice of Ram
"united National Anthems of India and Pakistan sung by artists of both nations"

Peace in Twelve Languages, Tom Knight 
audio; performance by Walpole Children's Chorus

Signore, fa di me uno strumento della tua pace (Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Thy Peace)

"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy."

Un Mensage al Mundo (A Message to the World)
Jorge, Helena y Matias Otamendi
video; lyrics in Spanish (You can scroll to the bottom and click on 'Translate to English.)

"Although it seems impossible, love can unite us... And this is a message to the world. So that they stop fighting. So that together we can build a path like brothers with love and freedom."

Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are One), Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills

Virtual Choir featuring over 200 children singing in English and Lakota throughout the Black Hills and Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota.

"We are one in the spirit, we are one in the world.... They'll know we are united by our love."

(They don't mention this in the video description, but the song appears to be adapted from a Christian hymn: "We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord.... They'll know we are Christians by our love.")  

Peace Song, Lena Park (Park Jyung-Hyun)

audio in Korean; English version of song (lyrics in video description)

"Changing the world as one. Hope makes a better place. Strength, and peace, and harmony. Closer and closer now from dreams to reality. Not just for you, or just for me. But for the world? But for the world, all the world."

Sala Ngoana (Be At Peace My Child), Sharon Katz

lyrics (verses in English with chorus in Sesotho); video of performance with The Peace Train Band and Choir with the KwaZulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra

"Where are the children, where do the children run? Now that the bombs fall, and playtime is over."

Same and Different SongRruga Sesam/Ulica Sezam (Kosovo Sesame Street)

video (Albanian with English subtitles)

"In this world everyone comes with something unique. One has blond hair. The other one has dark hair. Some are taller. Some are smaller. Some are very energetic. Some are very quiet.... We are kids, and we may differ from each other. We are kids, and we make this world more beautiful."

Sneham Ezhuga (World Peace Song)Vasant Desai; Rameshvaidya 

video by S. J. Jananiy with English subtitles


Song of FriendshipSisimpur (Sesame Street Bangladesh) 

video in Bangla with English subtitles

"Friendship means bonding of the heart. Sharing everything together.... We like different things, but we are still friends." 


Tunaomba Amani (We Ask for Peace)

video in Swahili 

Un Monde Meilleur (A Better World), Keen'V

video; lyrics in French; English translation

"In a better world, we can clear it all up. The mistakes of the past that prevent us from moving forward. In a better world, we do not judge based on appearance. We all live in peace, together in respect."

Yaweran Masseme (A Song for Peace)

Sufi chant, in Arabic, Rom, and Yiddish

video of performance at benefit concert for l'Association Act & Help at the Church of St. Roch

Yo No Soy Diferente (I am no Different); Gian Marco

audiolyrics in Spanish (You can scroll to the bottom and click on 'Translate to English.')

"Why so much struggle? We all walk the same ground. Don't look at me like that because we are all the same people. Let's walk together and build the same bridge. You and I are from the same place. I am no different. Through my veins runs the same blood that gives life. If we sing together we will close all the wounds."

If you like these types of songs, you might be interested in the other Song Playlists for Teachers, including:

There are also hundreds more posts here at on:


Catharine Hannay is the founder of and the author of Being You: A Girl’s Guide to Mindfulness, a workbook for teen girls on mindfulness, compassion, and self-acceptance. (Sales of the book help me continue to run with no sponsorship or advertising.)