Midnight Shine: Heart of Gold (n-dialect)

Zach Tomatuk, Adrian Sutherland, [drummer], Stan Louttit: Midnight Shine

It was great surprise to run into my colleague Stan Louttit from Moose Factory in Winnipeg. It was even better to hear Midnight Shine (Stan is the bassist) live at The Forks at APTN’s Indigenous Day Live 2018. Not sure you could find a better choice for a Winnipeg audience than a Neil Young cover – and singing along in Cree is always cool. In this case, the Cree is n-dialect, as spoken in Attawapiskat, the home of lead singer Adrian Sutherland.

Cree text in SRO (with thanks to Ken Paupanekis): 

niwî-pimâtisin, niwî-mîniwân
ninanâtawâpamâw kâ-mino-têhêt
môna nitayân ôhi kêkwâna
ê-nâtawâpamak kâ-mino-têhêt
âsay (ê)-kisênîwiyân
ê-nâtawâpamak kâ-mino-têhêt
âsay (ê)-kisênîwiyân

ᓂᐑᐱᒫᑎᓯᐣ,  ᓂᐑᒦᓂᐚᐣ
ᓂᓇᓈᑕᐚᐸᒫᐤ  ᑳᒥᓄᑌᐦᐁᐟ
ᒨᓇ ᓂᑕᔮᐣ ᐆᐦᐃ  ᑫᒁᓇ
ᐁᓈᑕᐚᐸᒪᐠ  ᑳᒥᓄᑌᐦᐁᐟ
ᐋᓴᐩ  ᐁᑭᓭᓃᐏᔮᐣ
ᐁᓈᑕᐚᐸᒪᐠ  ᑳᒥᓄᑌᐦᐁᐟ
ᐋᓴᐩ  ᐁᑭᓭᓃᐏᔮᐣ

I wanna live, I wanna give
I’ve been a miner for a heart of gold
It’s these expressions I never give
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old
That keep me searching for a heart of gold
And I’m getting old

From the Midnight Shine’s original YouTube post:

Heart of Gold (Cover) performed by Midnight Shine, posted with permission from Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. Written by Neil Young. Mushkegowuk Cree translation by Adrian Sutherland.

The lead single from Midnight Shine’s new album HIGH ROAD is an exceptional cover of Neil Young’s HEART OF GOLD, bringing a timely new sound to this timeless classic. Midnight Shine’s version is distinctly different, yet honours the heart and soul of the original. It was produced by Midnight Shine, along with John-Angus MacDonald (The Trews). FUN FACT: Listen for Chris Gormley (Big Sugar) on drums!

  • “Quite a fascinating version of Neil’s song. Love the First Nations’ feel of it. Very cool…” – John Einarson, Neil Young Biographer & Music Historian
  • “In a bold choice, the band pays tribute to one of Canada’s greatest songwriters and folk music’s greatest innovators, Neil Young. Their cover of his 1972 hit “Heart Of Gold” is stunning and not only links the group to the folk roots of rock and roll but also highlights the group’s Indigenous heritage through the vocal styling and with the final verse being translated into Mushkegowuk Cree. The track is not only a definite highlight among High Road, but also holds up to the original…” – Gerrod Harris, Canadianbeats.ca
  • “Putting a fresh spin on a classic is a tough task, but James Bay-area Indigenous roots-rockers Midnight Shine manages to do just that. The familiar strummed guitar intro is accompanied by wailing Indigenous vocals that grab your attention instantly… Adrian Sutherland delivers a heartfelt and convincing vocal performance, and a section of the tune is sung in his Cree language. We reckon Neil would approve.” – Kerry Doole, FYI Music News
  • “Anytime you take a popular song and make it your own it’s a risk. In this case Adrian, with permission from Young’s publisher, included cuts of powwow singing, and the last verse of “Heart of Gold” was translated into Mushkegowuk Cree. The result is incredible. Midnight Shine’s “Heart of Gold” has breathed new life into a classic song…” – Hendrik Pape, Soundcheck Entertainment

MORE INFO AT: https://www.midnightshineonline.com

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
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