Friday, September 23, 2011

Song of the Carnivores Competition Winners


Edgar Langeveldt and Peggy Lendrum shared the $500 prize for the Song of the Carnivores lyric writing competition.
The competition aims to encourage interest amongst young people in conservation, particularly of the endangered carnivores - lion, cheetah, hyena, leopard and wild dog.
The results were announced during the Intwasa Arts Festival koBulawayo by Brian Jones of 'amaBooks Publishers.
Consideration will be given to writing music for the lyrics and the piece would then be performed for the first time at the Bulawayo Music Festival in 2012. The other shortlisted writers were Kurai Mombeshora, Vera Taylor, Mark Ferris and Tegan Mortimer.
The competition was supported by British Council, Zoological Society of London, Academy of Music, Warren Buffett Foundation and 'amaBooks.

The winning lyrics were:

Eternal Creature, by Edgar Langeveldt


It's a celebration of life, a cycle of seasons

They all have their pride, they all have their reasons

To exist and endure, so natural and pure

In the song of the carnivore, eternal creature!

And the song is a chorus of their pups and cubs

And the beauty in their lives is the beauty in us!

Join the African pack, keep their future secure

They've been there all ages, eternal creature!


Running and running, they never grow tired

Painted fantastic, colours vivid and wild

Panting and patient, pursuing their prey

Marathon pacing, endurance all day.

A team and a family, working closely as one!

Resourceful, resilient, they flash in the sun.

A cloud of hot dust and the hunted is down!

No rest or retreat till the hunting is done!


Under moonlit star-canopy, the queen of the night!

Fiery eyes, setting shadows alight.

Silently stalking through dappled midnight,

Treetops and rocks, razors hidden from sight

Padding, patrolling while others still sleep

Launching attack with a single, quick leap!

A rush of the wind and the hunted is down

No air in the throat, no heartbeat, no sound...


With a flick of high tail, sleek turns on the sprint

She's nimble, she's agile, she's speedy like wind.

The fastest on four legs, a blur off the ground

A curved back, elastic, a leap and a bound!

She's swifter than lightning, and sure of feet

She corners and captures in motion complete.

The plains are her runway, the hunted her prize

Up off like a missile, she flows and she flies!


Royalty, majesty, golden in class!

Powerful, proud in a palace of grass.

A pride and a territory, all corners are home

From deserts to jungles, savannas to roam...

The kings and the queens with jewels for eyes

A crown and a mane and those powerful thighs!

A throne set atop all creatures in sight

The roar of the conqueror, brave in the fight!


Laughing and cunning, trailing the hunt

Left-overs for breakfast, a big bone for lunch.

Grabbing at pieces, jawbones that crunch

Master recyclers, no wastage, no want.

Spotted and speckled, no two are the same

Wondrous and weird, they purify game:

Timeless and tireless, cleansing the plain

Cutting, refining the sick, old and tame.


Join the celebration of life, the cycle of seasons

We all have our pride, we all have our reasons

To exist and endure, so natural and pure,

Sing the song of the carnivore, eternal creature!

And our song is a chorus of their pups and cubs

And the beauty in their lives is the beauty in us!

Join the African pack, keep our future secure

They've been there all ages, eternal creature!




Song of the Carnivores, by Peggy Lendrum

Listen! Can you hear in your heart

The beat of an African drum?

A call of the wild

From kopje and vlei

Drumming a song

Through the night to the day -

It's an animal cry, a message for help -

Listen! Listen to the drum


In soft moonlight a leopard prowls

With silent paws and dripping jowls.

Black rosettes on golden coat,

A hungry cough deep in her throat,

A buck knows danger, starts to flee –

Too late - it struggles helplessly.

Yet hidden are the drums of fear –

A trap ‑ a gun ‑ a cruel snare.


She crouches low in waving grass

Eyes fixed on prey ‑ if one should pass

She'll spring and sprint and swipe her paws,

Her victim gripped in fierce jaws,

Lions kill to stay alive –

The pride can eat, the cubs survive.

But closer beat the drums of fear

Perhaps a shot? A silent spear?


Golden eyes, alert, that stare,

Neat head, long legs, a watchful air,

Teardrop streaks upon its face,

A cheetah sits with poise and grace.

A flicking tail, a twitching ear –

Then it's gone, a spotted blur,

Heard on the wind, the drums of fear –

Poachers! Dogs are there.


A useful creature is this beast

A slinking form that likes to feast

On helpless young ‑ or others' prey!

Hyenas scavenge night or day.

Their jaws can snap a bone in half,

And in the night their weird laugh

Is music for the drums of fear

As witchcraft seekers set a snare.


A Joseph's coat, big rounded ears,

The white‑tipped tail a flag for peers –

Wild dogs live in strict control,

A female plays the alpha role.

They hunt in packs to run down prey,

But distant drums beat loud to say

They're now on the endangered map

From bullets, poison, or a trap.


But listen! Now can you hear

The animals' song in the drum?

It's a cry to us all

Man, woman and child

To care for our earth

To cherish our wild –

It's our 'now and forever' for aeons to come

We'll listen! We'll answer the drum.