He Can Fancy Dance, Written and Sung By Cindy Paul

I was recently moved to tears by this beautiful, sad song, He Can Fancy Dance, by Cindy Paul. It really hit home with me because I have known many Native People that have experienced similar circumstances growing up. It is a very sad fact in the lives of many older Native Americans.

I recently contacted Cindy and was given permission to post her beautiful song, here on Suncrow Flutes. Her voice and the lyrics to He Can Fancy Dance are sure to move you too. In this version she sings the song nearly acapella. Please listen below.

By Cindy Paul

      12 He Can Fancy Dance (Alternate) MP

Visit this link to Cindy’s YouTube Video also featuring a slideshow of photos telling the story. It’s beautiful.

To read more about the talented, award winning artist,  Cindy Paul, please visit her website.

The Shifting, Whispering Sands, Recitation & Flute Accompaniment by Howard Ball

Listen as I recite this Western song and poem, Shifting Whispering Sands, written by Vivian Clark Gilbert and his wife, Mary Margaret Hadler. It was first recorded in 1955 by Rusty Draper. My favorite recording was by Johnny Cash

      Shifting Whispering Sands

Yes it always whispers to me
of the days of long ago,
when the settlers and the miners
fought the crafty Navajo.

How the cattle roamed the valley,
happy people worked the land,
and now everything is covered
by the shifting, whispering sands.

I discovered the valley of the shifting, whispering sands
while prospecting for gold in one of our western States.

I saw the silent windmills, the crumbling water tanks,
the bones of cattle and burros picked clean by buzzards,
and bleached by the desert sun.

I stumbled over a crumbling buckboard, nearly covered by the sands.
And stopping to rest,
I heard a tinkling, whispering sound.
Then suddenly realized
that even though the wind was quiet
the sand did not lie still.

I seemed to be surrounded by a mystery,
so heavy and oppressive, I could scarcely breathe.

For days and weeks I wandered aimlessly in this valley,
seeking answers to the many questions
that raced through my fevered mind.
“Where was everyone? Why the white bones? The dry wells?
The barren valley where people must have lived and died?”

Finally, I could go no further.
My food and water gone.
I sat down and buried my face in my hands.
And resting thus, I learned the secret
of the shifting, whispering sands.

How I managed to escape from the valley, I do not know.
But now to pay my final debt for being spared,
I must tell you what I learned out on the desert
so many years ago.

When the day is awfully quiet,
and the breeze seems not to blow,
One would think the sand was resting,
but you’ll find, this is not so.

It is whispering, softly whispering,
as it slowly moves along,
and for those who stop and listen,
it will sing this mournful song.

Of sidewinders, and the horn toads,
of the thorny chaparral.
Of sunny days and moonlit nights,
the coyotes lonely yell.

How the stars seemed, you could touch them,
as you lay and gaze on high
at the heavens where we’re hoping
we’ll be going when we die.

Yes, it always whispers to me
of the days of long ago,
when the settlers and the miners
fought the crafty Navajo.

How the cattle roamed the valley,
happy people worked the land.
Now everything is covered
by the shifting, whispering sands.

How the miner left his buckboards,
went to work his claims that day.

And the burros broke their halters
when they thought he’d gone to stay.
Wandering far in search of water
on to old sidewinder’s well.
And their bones picked clean by buzzards
that were circling when they fell.

How they found the ancient miner
lying dead upon the sand.
After months they could but wonder,
if he died by human hand?

So they dug his grave and laid him
on his back, and crossed his hands.
And his secret still is hidden
by the shifting, whispering sands.

This is what they whispered to me
on the quiet desert air,
of the people and the cattle,
and the miner lying there.

“If you want to learn their secret,
wander through this quiet land.
And I’m sure you’ll hear the story
of the shifting, whispering sands.”

Yes, it always whispers to me
of the days of long ago,
when the settlers and the miners
fought the crafty Navajo.

How the cattle roamed the valley,
happy people worked the land.
Now everything is covered 
by the shifting, whispering sands.

To listen to more of my flute music, songs, poems, and recitations, please visit My Music page.