A Few Words About These Songs

By Clarence Clearwater

  1. Mother’s Honor – A song in honor of everything female from the male perspective. This is in accordance with Navajo spiritual values wherein we view all entities as having both male and female within them. To not recognize this in oneself leads to disharmony and unbalance.
  2. Moccasin Game Song – This is a winter game song. The moccasin game is an interpretation of the Navajo creation story along with a game of chance with clues revealed in the song.
  3. Horse song – Horse songs are songs of prayer, honor, respect, and repentance for the lost place of the horse in our modern society.
  4. Skip Dance – The Skip Dance along with other dances are performed in combination with healing ceremonies such as the Enemy Way Ceremony. These social dances are done to create a positive attitude and atmosphere for the healing. This particular song is a vocable, meaning there are no words in it.
  5. Leaving At High Noon, Skip Dance – This skip dance song has lyrics and is the title of this recording. It goes as follows, "Girl. Tomorrow at high noon I am leaving and you’ll be looking after me a bit worried. Girl tomorrow at high noon sorrow will overcome you as you look after my departure."
  6. Dance For A Quarter, Skip Dance – Another song with lyrics goes as follows, "Hey boy give the girl a quarter and dance with her. And girl, take the quarter from the boy and dance with him." In the Navajo language the word for "quarter" can also be used to mean money in general.
  7. Shi Na Sha – This song was first sung when the Navajo people were returning to their Four Sacred Mountains after incarceration in the Bosque Redondo relocation of the 1860’s. There are many versions of this song with different words, but the "Shi Na Sha" is the mainstay no matter the version. Literally translated it means, "I am going home."
  8. Honor Song – (with Amazing Grace) - A combining of two cultures to honor those that have been or are currently in harm’s way due to the evils that mankind perpetrates on itself using race, color, creed, or spiritual beliefs as justification for war and killing. We, as the native peoples of this continent, have survived a genocidal attack by immigrants that began over 600 years ago. An attack that was initially intended to obliterate us from this world that they were so anxious to own. To this day, peoples all over the earth are being killed in the name of someone’s war. Now I honor all those who have been subjected to such acts, and those innocents who have been caught up in this horrid situation of war. The "Amazing Grace" part is up to your interpretation.

Leaving at High Noon  song credits...

Guitar & vocals: Clarence Clearwater

Guitar: D. Grigich on track 3

Track 1: written by Jay Begay

Track 2 arranged by Klaus Zandel

Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6: Traditional Kinliichiini (Toledo) clan songs

Tracks 1-7 recorded October 2000

Galaxia Sound Studios

Greensboro, NC

Track 8 recorded February 2002

Atlantis Sound Studios

Albuquerque, NM

Jerry Dean, recording/mix engineer

 

DEDICATION

I dedicate this music to Native youth in helping to provide a new direction in music that is inclusive of traditional Native ways.

 

AKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Thank you Great Spirit and all of our spiritual leaders. Ahee Hee, Shima Nina, doo Shizhe eh, Clarence, Kat, my children, my grandchildren, and all my extended family. Mando Bando, Ruby Dubois, Milo J. Mellow, Lightening Orange, Skip DeWolf, Fingers Xeno, Gary, Ritchie, Jim Delp, Jerry Dean, Shonto Begay, Tim & Heather, Marie and The Church Street Café, Ken & Marty Moore, & Bingo.

 

The greatest thanks goes to all the people who have laughed, cried, and cheered. Thank you.