Cover image for We'll be in your mountains, we'll be in your songs : a Navajo woman sings
We'll be in your mountains, we'll be in your songs : a Navajo woman sings
McCullough-Brabson, Ellen.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, [2001]

Physical Description:
xv, 165 pages, 4 unnumbered pages : illustrations (some color), 2 maps ; 29 cm + 1 audio disc (digital ; 4 3/4 in.)
General Note:
Each chapter includes the words and music of a Navajo song (also sung on accompanying compact disc) with English translations as needed.
Personal Subject:
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ML3557 .M36 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



When the Holy People gave the Navajos the gift of music, they said, We'll be in your mountains, we'll be in your songs. This collection of Navajo music and the accompanying recording is a remarkable collaboration between a university music professor and her one-time student, a traditional Navajo who teaches on the reservation. It is an in-depth examination of twelve Navajo social songs and includes rich, detailed explanations of the culture and customs that surround both contemporary and traditional Navajo music. Marilyn Help, crowned Miss Navajo in 1977, offers direct insight into what it is like to be a Navajo woman living within the challenges of a contemporary society. At the same time, she is a cultural beacon striving to pass on traditional Navajo ways to her family, students, and friends. The book also includes explanations of traditional Navajo dance steps, notations on hand movements for selected songs, a discography, and sources for recordings and videos. Includes a CD of twelve songs sung by Marilyn Help, this book is designed for people of all ages seeking to celebrate Navajo music and culture.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

The product of a collaboration between music professor McCullough-Brabson (Univ. of New Mexico) and Navajo schoolteacher Help, this book provides in-depth examinations of 12 songs, including both interlinear and free translations and notated music. The title acknowledges the belief that music is a gift from Navajo deities (the Holy People); Navajo music in any context is considered sacred, with varying restrictions on proper use and context for performance. The selected music was carefully chosen for its Navajo musical and spiritual principles; songs are accompanied by fundamental Navajo cultural information. The authors quote both Navajo traditional experts and non-Navajo scholars (including David P. McAllester, who wrote the foreword). Songs are appropriate for classroom use or public performance; readers are encouraged to learn, teach, sing, or dance to the songs while observing seasonal restrictions. Illustrated with black and white photos, color plates, and maps, this oversized book (9" x 11") includes a high-quality audio CD recording and appendixes with Navajo language information and dance steps or motions for four of the songs. This superior title is highly recommended for teaching Native music and for all collections on Navajo culture. V. Giglio Florida Atlantic University