Songs by Philip and Patsy Cassadore of the San Carlos Apache Tribe

The singing Cassadores - brother and sister Philip and Patsy Cassadore - were born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona, children of Broken Arrow, a clan Chieftain and Medicine Man. From the time of their earliest recollection, they were surrounded by music, for their father was a noted singer as was his father before him. Chief Broken Arrow knew hundreds of songs: some he sang in ceremonials in his role of medicine man, some he sang for the joy of singing.
He had a custom of rising early, usually about 4 AM, and would sing softly for a couple of hours in the wickiup (Apache house), going over the many songs. Philip recalls waking up to music through most of his childhood - hearing the songs in his subconscious dreaming them, until fully aroused from sleep.
These songs, inherited from their father, are the songs the Cassadores sing - the language occasionally brought up to date in the changing manner of songs, but essentially the way they learned them as children.
The singing Cassadores were first popular at functions on the Apache Reservation, but later their audiences expanded to surrounding towns, to the reservations of other tribes, to Pow-Wows and celebrations for non-Indians. They have been featured singers at Burbank Starlight Bowl in California; at the All Indian Days in Sheridan, Wyoming; the Heard Museum Fair in Phoenix, and the Navajo Tribal Fair, Window Rock.

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Native Words



Mountain Spirit Dance Philip Cassadore The Mountain Spirit Dance is one of the most sacred of all Apache ritual dances. It is performed on the Reservation, and is also danced with pride at outside Pow-Wows and exhibits for non-Indians.
Tribal elders tell the story handed down from their forefathers: A few Apache braves, lost in the sacred mountain, sought guidance from the Great Spirit. They received aid, and also the inspiration for this dance of healing and petition. In this ritual, the dancers impersonate the Mountain Spirits, and wear hoods of black buckskin, so as to remain anonymous as men.
The Mountain Spirit dancers, as they perform, are shown on the front cover of this album. The striking photograph was made by Robert J. Allen of Canyon Films of Arizona, under the shadow of the Apaches' sacred Superstition Mountain.
Another Mountain Spirit Dance Philip Cassadore Apache
Rain Dance Song Philip Cassadore The ritualistic rain dances have always been of much importance to the Apaches in the arid Southwest, who offer them to the Great Spirit asking for rain. Here the singer tells of distant thunder; he will plead with the Thundergod for rain. This is an 'old-time' song, but is still sung in parts of the reservation. Apache
Apache Creation Song Philip Cassadore This is sung today, as it has been for generations back, as one of the preliminary chants to the Sunrise Dance (girl's coming of age ceremony). The singer is repeating the story of creation, as told him by a spirit. He relates that the Great Spirit made the earth, made man, and later made woman. The rhythm in this ritual is indicative of its sacred character. It is unique and special, and very difficult for drummer and singer. Apache
Girl Who Is Afraid Of Boys Philip Cassadore Here is the song of a young man as he stands outside a shy girl's house, pleading with her to come out with him. She has given him the excuse that she must stay in and cook for the family, but he feels it is only her way of avoiding him. Apache
Social Song Philip Cassadore This is a men's song for occasions of good fellowship, or for the reunion of friends. It is heard regularly on the Apache reservation, or in urban centers off-reservation when Indians get together for a gathering in the homes of friends, or in a club. Apache
Sacred Cave Song Philip Cassadore This song does not have words, but is a song of sounds. It is a Spirit's song which was heard by a medicine woman when she visited a cave in the Superstition Mountain. Apache
A Better Life Ahead Philip Cassadore In this song, usually done at the end of healing ceremonies, the medicine man tells the patient he will grow well. He sees "a better life ahead" for him. Apache
People Know Me Wherever I Go Patsy Cassadore This is a folk song of a happy maiden, who travels about, always greeted in friendly fashion for the songs she sings. This could be Patsy's theme song. Apache
I'm In Love With A Navajo Boy (Also known as The Goat Song) Patsy Cassadore This is a ballad, in which a homesick Apache girl, married to a Navajo sheepherder, tries to persuade her husband to leave his sheep and return with her to the Apache country. Apache
Social Song Patsy Cassadore The Indian has a song for every occasion of his life. This social song is a song of friendship when women get together. It is sounds, not words, but is recognized at once by the Apache women for what it is. Apache
Where Are You Going Patsy Cassadore This is a day-dreamer calling to a man she has known but who is not present with her now. She wonders where he is, where he is going. Apache
I've Been Around Patsy Cassadore Here is an older woman's song in which she relates that she has been around, "all over the place". She has gone through many experiences, met all kinds of people. It's a song with a shrug - "Don't fool me, there's nothing new to me - I've been around". Apache
Where Have You Been Patsy Cassadore A torch song of a lonely girl, chiding a man who has not come to see her for a long time. Apache
Wedding Party Song Patsy Cassadore It is customary for parents to hold a big party sometime after a young couple marry - when their friends bring gifts to the young couple. To plan such a party, the parents of each formerly went off by themselves, and worked out the details. There were songs sung back and forth on such occasions in a kind of dialogue. This is one such song. This is an old-time custom, and has almost completely disappeared. Apache
Goodbye, I'm Leaving Patsy Cassadore When the time arrives to break up a social dance, the ladies sing this type of song to signify the end has come. "Goodbye, I'm leaving; I'm going home. Good wishes to all!" Apache