WIT is Women In Tune

Roweena Russell

Photo by Roweena Russell

Woman am I
Spirit am I
I am the infinite within myself
I have no beginning
I have no end
Oh yes I am.

From the website Women In Tune:
WIT is an opportunity to be part of the experience that is a women only music festival, the only one of its kind in the UK
WIT is a celebratory, nurturing, supportive, inclusive, safe space
WIT believes in the power of each woman and offers a unique opportunity to explore our abilities; to be courageous & reach for the sky
WIT is life affirming & has a common purpose – to unite women in the pursuit of great music; to honour the creative, experimental spark that exists in all of us
WIT can teach us how to play a sax, swing an axe & build things; discover new skills, find joy, be wild & sing up the Moon
WIT recognises many of us have specific needs & makes every attempt to accommodate them ~ please feel free to enquire
WIT is committed to giving all women & girls their own unique voice
WIT is music, story, dance, poetry, workshops, performance & participation; potential, magic, empowerment & sisterhood
WIT is everywoman


The WIT festival, taking place in Wales, Great Britain, is a supportive environment where women and girls can try out their musical wings, and where more experienced musicians can come and share their talent and knowledge with others. Music of all styles and influences are explored at the festival.
The festival is a showcase and an opportunity to teach and learn. With workshops during the day and concerts later in the evening, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
More information can be found in the website.

Paula Boulton says that her workshop “Feminist songs, fireside chants, songs of peace and protest” has been growing year by year, sparked by a chance conversation with Gail Chester one year. There were over 70 women at the 2011 workshop who started by sharing what they had ever fought for or protested about. The variety of causes was astonishing: from peace to pensions, from workers rights to asylum rights, from international solidarity to student activism, from animal rights to health care, plus anti racism, anti homophobia, anti nuclear power, and so on.
Women are often at the forefront of changing the world. On the world stage, locally or personally – we fight for our rights and those of others.

«I collect songs wherever I go, but have a particular interest in making our world audible and visible by collating and passing on songs from the world of women. Our vision is encoded in these songs, our struggles told and our successes celebrated. With modern technology we can pass them on and learn them and never again be left out round the fire wishing you could join in! Keep singing! Keep creating! That way we keep our culture alive!»

Here you will find a list of songs and chants.

An Italian reader would spot immediately Bella Ciao, and this would be the only one of the songs known in Italy.Bella Ciao is an antifascist Italian folk song, whose origin can be traced in Emilia in central Italy before the liberation from Fascism. It was associated with the Partisan movement and became very popular after the War. It was translated into many other languages thanks to the group of Italians who broughtit to the 1st World Festival of Youth and Students, held in Prague in 1947. On this occasion singers started the clapping that now accompanies thewords ‘Bella ciao’ in the song. Every Italian knows and sings Bella Ciao from childhood.
This is the WIT version:

Bella Ciao
Oh we are marchers
And we’re protesting
Bella ciao, bella ciao, bella
Ciao, ciao, ciao
We are here today
Our banners speak for us
They’re saying no to nuclear war

Oh we are singers
We hope you hear our song…
We are voicing
The dream of millions
For a world that’s rid of war.
Oh we are citizens
We’re going to use our vote…
We are calling
For human justice
In immigration policy.
Oh we are women
And we’re resisting…
We’re resisting
Abuse and violence
We’re going to set each other free.
Oh we are children
Of every region…
We are part of
A global movement
That’s bringing change on land and sea.

(Edited by Silvia Pio e Leslie McBride Wile)