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Where is this generation’s Sharon Burch?

March 17, 2011

I have been implementing my language immersion plan. I am starting to pick out some frequent words throughout my listening sessions. I have been listening to the same hour of dialogue for the last seven days. I figured repetition is key, especially with listening. Although, I have found that when I listen I have this faint desire to tune out like I did when I was younger. Bad habit.

To break up the monotony I am listening to Sharon Burch. She is a Navajo folksinger/songwriter whose music I used to hear when I was little. A lot of her songs are bilingual and the music is enjoyable to listen to. I have her first album, Yazzie Girl. Since my last post I purchased the two remaining albums online so I can have the Navajo/English lyric sheets. There are a few songs posted on YouTube; personally, I like Spotted Horse.

I searched online for more music from other Navajo artists. I can not seem to find any that would be even close in comparison to Sharon. I found a lot of Navajo chant albums for children, but nothing that I would consider listening to over and over again. Navajo is at times minimal in these chant songs. Bummer.

Where are all the Sharon Burches for my generation?? I am sure there are some songwriters who could pull it off. I know of a few Navajo bands, but I don’t think they have Navajo lyrics.

Someone needs to start writing songs!!  They would be unique, and if they write and sing well…wow, an instant favorite. The artists doesn’t even have to veer toward Sharon’s folk style. Look at what Helen Roy is doing to preserve the Ojibwe language.

In closing, listen to Spotted Horse (below), or Grandpa’s Birthday Song . Spotted Horse goes through number 1-10. The birthday song goes through the months of the year, she learned them as a birthday gift for her grandfather.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Carmen CB permalink
    May 6, 2011 10:54 pm

    No way! “Spotted Horses” is my favorite Sharon Burch song! I also used to listen to Radmilla Cody and Darlene Tsinnijinnie when I was in the very early stages of reconnecting with my culture.

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