Top spot on iTunes' World chart for Clonakilty's Butterfly song

December 10th, 2015 12:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

The Scoil na mBuachailli pupils during their recording, and above, some of the children from the nomadic Samburu tribe who also sang on the record.

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A Clonakilty school’s festive song has reached No 1 in the ‘World’ category in the iTunes store.

BY Áilín Quinlan


A CLONAKILTY school’s festive song has reached No 1 in the ‘World’ category in the iTunes store.

Scoil na mBuachaillí’s Butterfly Child song and the eye-catching video which accompanies it, have become a big hit since being launched at the weekend.

The magical across-the-oceans festive collaboration is between the primary school pupils in Clonakilty and children from the nomadic Samburu tribe in Kenya.

The Samburu tribes people are known as The Butterfly People for their colourful headgear, jewellery and clothing.

‘This is a wonderful example of the way in which a range of digital technologies has enabled Irish generosity and ingenuity to connect with a great cause on the other side of the world - and make it sing,’ said Lord David Puttnam, who called into the school last week to congratulate them on their success.

The up-tempo melody,  which  is now on sale for 99c on iTunes,  aims to raise money for both the education of the Samburu children and for classroom equipment at Scoil na mBuachailli in Clonakilty.

‘David Puttnam is very excited about the Butterfly Child project and very supportive of it,’ said Marilien Romme, one of the organisers of the project and a  member of the international educational initiative The Thorn Tree Project, which supports the education of children of the Samburu tribe.

‘He is very interested in  online learning and was fascinated by the way we were able to link a remote rural African school in an area without roads or electricity in this trans-world collaboration music project.’

The inspiring video features pupils of Scoil na mBuachaillí in Clonakilty  alternating verses with  the Samburu children from Northern Kenya who are  pupils  at The Thorntree Project’s schools. 

Written by Scoil na mBuachailli school principal Barth Harrington, the song combines Irish melodic influences with Sub-Saharan African chanting. 

However things didn’t  always go smoothly, according to Kelly Slonaker, who led the production on the Samburu side.

‘We hit a few speed bumps – some torrential rain, a very slow internet, and some rogue highway police who tried to detain our film crew for speeding, to name a few – but the end result was worth it,’ she said. 

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