What a Wonderful World (Solomon Ratt, th-dialect)

Thanks to Solomon Ratt for this translation of Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World” – which was a favourite lullabye when my boys were small. You may notice how some English words have been omitted to make the long, Cree words fit the melody. Sol persuaded me to try singing it (thanks to my sister Dolores Sand for encouragement). I hope it can be understood. For better or worse, this is the sound of an SRO learner in action!

niwâpamâwak mistikwak
nititîthihtîn mithwâsin ôma askiy.
niwâpahtîn î-wâsîskwahk
sawîthihtâkwan kîsikâw
nititîthihtîn mithwâsin ôma askiy.
kâ-itasinâstîki pîsimoyâpiya,
owîhkwâkaniwâwa athisitiniwak
niwâpamâwak î-atamiskâtocik
‘kisâkihitin,’ itwîwak.
nipîhtawâwak oskawâsisak
nititîthihtîn mithwâsin ôma askiy,
nititîthihtîn mithwâsin ôma askiy.
I see trees, they are so green
I think what a beautiful world.
I see clear blues skies the blessed day
I think what a beautiful world
The colours of the rainbow,
The faces of people,
Friends saying “I love you.”
I hear newborn children learning much more than I ever did.
I think what a beautiful world
I think what a beautiful world.
Oh, yeah.

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