Buffy Sainte-Marie: Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan (y-dialect)

We have all kinds of reasons to love this translation of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s song, “Qu’Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan,” originally recorded for the album Sweet America in 1976, and newly translated into Cree by Shannon Dumba, a committed student of Solomon Ratt’s (a.k.a my fellow Rhythm Ratt). Herre’s how Shannon described her personal connection to the song:

I was born near the valley and my parents were born and raised in the area, so it has a special place in my heart.❤️ It also gave me some comfort when my dad passed away at the end of February. I couldn’t stop singing it for a week, then I translated it, and later that week my dad passed away. So the song took on another significance. That line “take me back to where my heart belongs…” still gets me sometimes. 💔❤️

I also really like this song because the rhythm/structure of the song reminds me of a certain type of flamenco song called Fandango De Huelva (Huelva is a town in Spain). My flamenco group danced to it awhile back, so I learned the rhythm at that time and tried learning to sing one of the verses. The English translation is something like this: “I turned back my face crying when I left Huelva, I turned back my face crying when I left Huelva, and I said to you my land, how lonely I am for you waiting because I love you so much.” Anyway, when I made realized the rhythm was like a fandango de Huelva, I thought it was cool that the fandango lyrics I knew were also about the the land where your heart belongs! ❤️ Anyway, lots of reasons to love this song, beyond the fact that it’s just a great song! 😊 I

Shannon also provided a very sweet recording to accompany with her translation:

Qu’Appelle Valley Saskatchewan
Buffy Sainte-Marie
y-dialect translation, Shannon Dumba
You can travel all aloneki-ka-kī-pēyakwācihon
You can travel all aloneki-ka-kī-pēyakwācihon
Or you can come along with meahpo ki-ka-kī-pē-wīcēwin
Walk your way wey-o-wey-wey-wey-wey-opimohtē wē-o-wē-wē-wē-wē-o
Walk your way wey-o-wey-wey-wey-wey-opimohtē wē-o-wē-wē-wē-wē-o
Walk your way wey-o-wey-wey-wey-opimohtē wē-o-wē-wē-wē-o
Wrap me in your blanket dance me aroundwēwēkinin kitakohpihk wāskāsimohin
Wrap me in your blanket dance me aroundwēwēkinin kitakohpihk wāskāsimohin
Take me back to where my heart belongskīwēhtahin ita nitēh kā-tipēyihtākwahk
Qu’Appelle Valley, O Saskatchewanawīna kā-tēpwēt kisiskāciwan
Qu’Appelle Valley, O Saskatchewanawīna kā-tēpwēt kisiskāciwan
Qu’Appelle Valley, O Saskatchewanawīna kā-tēpwēt kisiskāciwan
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