Gone To The Spirits

by Norine Braun

Morning Prayer Now we leave the darkest night We give thanks for morning light Praise of joy, a loving face How these rays they grow a grace How these rays they grow a grace As I soar beneath your wings Let me fly where heaven sings Keep me warm when seasons fall Tender words from a heart that’s full Making sure there’s enough for all ©Norine Braun 2016 SOCAN All Rights Reserved.
Rock People (Yaqan Nukiy) We’ve been walking through the marsh all day On the path to where the rock stands great Climb aboard into a sturgeon’s nose In the yaqsuʔmiǂ we’ll float on home Rock people oh they see And speak languages three Legends of kindness told River being’s skin shed cold The hills he gifted his shape His tears filled the blue lakes We come from an opening in the underground On the eastern Rocky Mountain range Told by the keepers of the story line Circles notched on their elk horn canes Following Sun Dance we moved on down Made our lodges for prayers beside camps in the round Tule covered teepees and the bulrush down Make a soft pillow for my head Moss from the treetops, makes a filling bread Kokanee with duck and the berries red Rock people oh they see…. Yaqan Nukiy oh they see ©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Skinku¢ (COYOTE) Coyote calls His wildness in dreams How he dances beside a fast flowing stream His coat is scruffy With his ribs showing through He’s a rogue and a clown And he’s talking to you Skinku¢ was going along Breaking all the rules And singing his song Never was his fault and never was he wrong But then he got caught and now where he belongs Skinku¢ can be a hero as well Shows us how to act and picks up where we fell In darkness he’ll survive His spirit can revive We love him all in all despite his slippery wiles Skinku¢ ‘s tail tucked between his legs He’s a fool that drowns and a hero who saves He’s everyone we meet and everyone who braves Walking in the light or hiding in the caves ©NorineBraun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Star Man (Ode to Koo Koo Sints David Thompson) Star Man He’s the Star Man Drafting Rupert’s Land Going to map Columbia’s highway Via skyway To the ocean Over mountain, meadow and ice fields He’s the Star Man Sounding sextants All his surveys Fervent with dreaming and believing Going to get there Going to last forever The Star Man Star Man Koo Koo Sints Star Man A white flower of a blameless life His beauty Charlotte served as country wife Ktunaxa met them on a snowy morn Voyageurs paddling through a windy storm chorus Tobacco fathoms swirled into the night Full quiver and bows bathed in firelight A mild countenance with a manly face Brown muscled saviors spared them hungry graves Kootenay stories that Goliath lives Star Man’s behemoth, found above the cliffs Unsolved wonders as he travelled on Furs for muskets ‘til Pacific’s dawn © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Sometimes The Rain Comes One-Standing-Lodge-Pole-Woman was born Like her name declared She grew tall and strong Her arms longed for love The elusive belong From the river came A curious propose Sometimes the rain comes The rain washes where we go Sometimes the rain comes The rain washes, clean our soul Her white buckskin gleamed The white worms they shook She took his hand They paddled back To strangers new With words unheard The great unknown Would guide her home CHORUS Soft fallen masks True lovers fought Betrayal’s bitter taste Blew out the flames Winds of rage Clouds gathered force Evermore she’d dance her heart’s remorse ©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved
BIRD WITH A SONG TO SING I’m always outside looking in Perched in the quiet I see everything Oh how I love you I watch all that you do I’m a little bird With a song to sing My constant presence Often overlooked I’m never frightened Fallen once forever hooked If you should hear me I’ll lift you up high I’m a little bird With a song to sing Solitary sparrow Longs to be a pair Fast agile flier Wing beats rapid through the air Oh how my heart pleads Will you still be there? I’m a little bird With a song to sing I’m a little brown bird With a little song to sing I’m a little brown bird With a little song to sing © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
GONE TO THE SPIRITS BLUES Oh he changed me He took my sex away Those white devils Wouldn’t let me play All their rules and regulations Tethered emancipations enslaved I ain’t a woman I ain’t a woman no more No I buried her Below the forest floor You can call me what you want to But I ain’t a woman no more I am Gone-To-The-Spirits now Oh he made me Just like him self But I can see the why’s and how’s My visions and my boughs brushed down the way I am Gone-To-The-Spirits now © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Kocomenepeca Buffalo phallus and no rule of thumb Rumours swirled and the campfire hummed Kocomenepeca was on the way The manly- hearted woman Was coming today Courier guide bringing prophecy The warrior woman and her devotees A jealous side sometime arose If refused vowing death to those Kocomenepeca saw the error in rows The brother taunted And a change avowed Courier guide bringing prophecy The warrior woman and her devotees Who spoke in many tongues The visions stirred and stung A hunter who could see Apostle’s filled with greed ©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
26 HORSES 26 horses running 26 horses lead the way 26 horses running 26 horses packed with pay Up went Thompson from Astoria A noted phantasmagoria Two Amazons like man and wife Who carried letters that would save their lives CHORUS In the man I saw the woman born Tall leggings, a long robe adorned With porcupine quills dyed red and blue A queer sight we thought a clever ruse CHORUS The prophet saw the end was evident From blankets cloaked with pestilence The great white chief gives all their heart’s desire In return they gave the messenger CHORUS © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved,
VICTORY With blade in hand I face my foe I rush him in then I’ll land the blow Tilt him back and cut his mane away A slave is gained for ascendant strength We have no rulers but we know the length It takes to tell the stories old one day We’re going down, down in history Raise our hand up, up in victory We’re going down, down in history Raise our hand up, up in victory Fight for life Hear our cries Sun and cloud collide We stake our prize We’re going down, down in history Raise our hand up, up in victory We’re going on Watch us lead the way Climbed atop the mountain Because it stood in our way Bathed with crimson ribbons Streaked down our face We had a million reasons To give and get away Oh give it to me, give it to me, give it to me now now With the ancestor’s watching We’re going to make them all so proud © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved
EVENING SONG Let evening come To lift me up and open wide The starry night The crescent moon with silver horn I’ll breathe the air Release the burn The wisest ones among us Holds a child’s heart and laughter Those who bring the sun cannot Hide it from themselves CHORUS One kind word can warm up Four winter months for us and I’ll give thanks for things I am not yet thankful for CHORUS © Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Transform (Take Me Away) I am ready To race within Grip is steady Strong taut skin Coup de main Where did they come? Panting heavy Calm cooling night Feel dripping Absorbed by light Did you see the healing glow? And so the legend goes They fought all day Their longtime foes The Blackfeet came to overthrow They gathered strength for one more go Take me away to the land of the other side Take me away to transform to celestial guide Take me away transmit ancestral sight Take me away to become the mythic light I am floating Toward the shore I am fighting To win the war Can you see me up high? If you whisper Into the wind I’ll be waiting To lift you in Take my heart out set me free The prophet raised her hand to sky Taking many times to end her life When the people came to take her home The body remained intact and whole Take me oh take me away to the land of the other side … ©Norine Braun SOCAN 2016 All Rights Reserved


NOMINATED WESTERN CANADIAN MUSIC AWARD SPIRITUAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR 2018 Acclaimed Vancouver artist, Norine Braun, releases her 10th album, Gone To The Spirits via Braun and Brains Music. The concept album is birthed from the Ququnak Paǂkiy Song Collection that Braun wrote from a Canada Council For The Arts Songwriting Award last year. The songs are based on the engaging and dramatic life story of a Two Spirit, Ktunaxa warrior woman, courier and guide, who lived in the early 19th century. Gone-To-The-Spirits was the gifted oracle and accomplished warrior who appeared in the journals of trappers and explorers and was noted as having transformed gender and also became a chief. Braun’s irrepressible passion to create music with no imposed boundaries makes this work impossible to categorize. In the beginning, the haunting and ethereal Morning Prayer mesmerizes with ambient ascension toward the heavens. Throughout the album’s rich textures of worldly pop, jazz and blues, the listener is transported among dreamy ice fields, rootsy coyote canyons, thunderous storms toward soulful victory and a sublime rock transformation. One enters a sonic journey in this album that soothes and excites, to another time where Gone To The Spirits story enfolds.


released June 3, 2016

The concept album was recorded and mixed with producer Adam Popowitz at Rear Window Song and Sound. The session players include: the Juno nominated Adam Popowitz on bass and lead guitar, Elliot Polsky on drums, Huggybear Leonard on blues harp, Alice Fraser on keys and accordion, Malcolm Aiken on trumpet and flugelhorn with Norine Braun on rhythm guitar, ukulele, Navajo flute and vocals.

Adam Popowitz Producer.

Recorded. mixed and mastered by Adam Popowitz at Rear Window Song and Sound Coquitlam BC on unneeded Coast Salish Territory.

All songs words and music composed by Norine Braun.

With love and deep gratitude in the making of this album to: Adam Popowitz for materializing the musical vision and the incredibly talented musicians who generously shared their beautiful souls: Adam, Elliot, Huggybear, Alice and Malcolm. You are now forever in the dream and I am forever blessed.

Dr. Eldon C. Yellowhorn who planted the seed long ago and who acted as advisor on this project, Alice Fraser who helped nurture the seed all along, the Canada Council for the Arts for the Professional Musicians grant awarded me to write these songs, Robert Louis Sr., Margaret Teneese, Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre, VPL Archives, Glenbow Museum, David Thompson, B. Bellyea, C. Schaeffer

Special Thanks To: Colleen Pennington, Carol O’Dell. Maja Vanderhorst, Masako and Peter Stillwell, Renee Gauthier and Val Storvold and the fans and friends who supported this album before its release with pre-orders and love.

Gone To The Spirits is based on the engaging and dramatic life story of Ququnak Paǂkiy who was a Two Spirit, Ktunaxa prophet, messenger, chief and guide. Gone-To-The-Spirits lived in the early and mid-19th century in what is now known as southeastern BC, Canada. Gone-To-The-Spirits was the gifted oracle and accomplished warrior who appeared in the journals of trappers and explorers of the time period. Ququnak Paǂkiy: Gone-To-The-Spirits A Short Story I wrote to accompany this album is available at www.norinebraun.com

Cover Artwork by Miriam Sweeney
Photo by Jaunty Media
Graphic Design by Gisele Grignet


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Norine Braun Vancouver, British Columbia

Her signature funky folk-blues sound simply cannot be matched. Best listened to as loud as your neighbours will tolerate. Abortmag

Her music sounds like the union of Nick Cave with Patti Smith & City and Colour deep in the Canadian forests.

An imaginative display of fine musicianship, potent vocals and heartfelt lyrics, talent like hers doesn't exactly come around too often. Music Emission
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