Traditional Apache Songs

Canyon Records
Sung by Philip Cassadore


It is seldom that a record producer releases two records by the same singer simultaneously. However, when Philip Cassadore completed Canyon No. 6070 ("Philip Cassadore Sings More Apache Songs") he had so many songs still left over - crying to be sung - that Canyon Records felt compelled to do another album then and there.

We call it "Traditional Apache Songs" since many of these selections are from the Apache ceremonials handed down by medicine men and singers from generation to generation.

On the first side are a group of songs for GAN. A word of background for non-Apache listeners seems in order here. As Philip provides it:

"The Apache Indians were and are highly religious people. Their Apache religion teaches belief in God, a great holy power Who is above everything. He is good, He looks after the people of the world, and in the words of a chief, "He made us in order to have mercy on us."

"The Apache religion regards the universe (sky, stars, earth, winds, trees, air, etc.) as all one and related, and to be reverenced because the Supreme Being is in it.

Many traditions of the religion deal with the GAN - a collective name for the Mountain Spirits, who lived on earth in very ancient times but who believed to dwell within certain mountains. According to the teaching, the GAN have supernatural powers, and are able to help mankind.

This term GAN is also used to designate the Mountain Spirit dancers as a group, when they are representing the Mountain Spirits in a ceremonial, performed to ask blessings on those on earth. There are ceremonials for many specific purposes, and songs such as those on Side 1 are used during them.

On Side 2 Philip included two more songs for GAN, but also sings some of the interesting old-time songs he has learned through his family and tribal elders. Though he is a most Modern Indian he is anxious to preserve these songs of his cultural heritage, and finds modern non-Indians anxious to hear them and learn their meaning.

At the time of this record release he is living in Peridot on the San Carlos Reservation, and working for the betterment of the San Carlos community in his position at the tribal headquarters. He also conducts a popular Apache radio program at a nearby station. He is frequently called away from the reservation to present through lectures, panel discussions, and TV appearances not only the story of the Apache cultural past, but also the status and problems of the Modern Indian.

As on the cover of the jacket, he is also seen form time to time at public Indian pow-wows and celebrations as a performer, singing his songs.

Play song


Performed by


Native Words



Ceremonial Song For GAN Apache
Song For Gan For Healing Ceremony Apache
Another Ceremonial Song For GAN Apache
Song For GAN Apache
The Heavenly Light Shining Down Apache
Where Does The Sound Come From? This is a ceremonial song for GAN Apache
This Is A Good Life Again, a song for GAN who come bringing blessings, good health, good life. Apache
Invitation To Dance As a change in pace, and for variety, Philip offers a social dance song. As in many Apache social dances, it is the prerogative of the woman to ask the man to dance. The singer calls to the women: "Well, women, you are not here to sit. You are here to dance. Command your man to dance." Apache
Horse's Lament A horse complains to the Creator, "Why did You not create me to stand upright like a man? Why did You make me with four legs, so that I am under a heavy burden? Apache
This World Is Very Alive This is a song of Silas John, much revered Apache elder and prophet, who taught it to Philip's father, Clan Chieftan Broken Arrow, many years ago. In words it refers to the planet earth spinning about the sun, but has a symbolic meaning of all creatures of earth being in the care of God, and actively coming to seek Him. Philip says "Very simply it means 'God is not dead'". Apache
Instrument Song Another song by Silas John. This refers to the Apaches first witnessing the musical instruments of the White Man, and referring to them as 'metal that sings'. Apache