NATIVE NORTH-AMERICAN CHILD: AN ODDYSSEY (1974)

Native North American Child

1. Now That The Buffalo’s Gone [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
2. Isketayo Sewow (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
3. He’s An Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
4. Poppies (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
5. It’s My Way [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
6. Moonshot [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
7. Soldier Blue [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
8. Way Way Way (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
9. The Piney Wood Hills [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
10. My Country ‘Tis of thy People You’re Dying [lyrics]
      (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
11. Native North American Child (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
12. Little Wheel Spin and Spin [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)

 
 

 
 


Now That The Buffalo’s Gone
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

This song was on my first album and I’d have thought it would be obsolete by now. But governments are still breaking promises and stealing indigenous lands, and I still believe that informed people can help make things better.

Can you remember the times
That you have held your head high
and told all your friends of your Indian claim
Proud good lady and proud good man
Some great great grandfather from Indian blood came
and you feel in your heart for these ones

Oh it’s written in books and in song
that we’ve been mistreated and wronged
Well over and over I hear those same words
from you good lady and you good man
Well listen to me if you care where we stand
and you feel you’re a part of these ones

When a war between nations is lost
the loser we know pays the cost
but even when Germany fell to your hands
consider dear lady, consider dear man
you left them their pride and you left them their land
and what have you done to these ones

Has a change come about my dear man
or are you still taking our lands
A treaty forever your senators sign
They do dear lady, they do dear man
and the treaties are broken again and again
and what will you do for these ones

Oh it’s all in the past you can say
but it’s still going on here today
The governments now want the Navaho land
that of the Inuit and the Cheyenne
It’s here and it’s now you can help us dear man
Now that the buffalo’s gone.


 
 

 
 

He’s An Indian Cowboy in the Rodeo
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

Big hit in Boise, Idaho in 1971. Big hit in tipis and pickup trucks throughout the west. This new version is blessed with the presence of International World Champion powwow group Stoney Park, who also sang at The Juno Awards for my induction into the Hall of Fame in 1995. Migwetch, Stoney Park.

Sun is up
Day is on
Look for me
I’ll be gone
cause today’s the day
I’m gonna see him again

He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so
He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so

Once he stopped
and talked to me
I found out
how dreams can be
with a big wide smile
and a big white hat

He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so
He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so

Sun is up
Day is on
Look for me
I’ll be gone
cause today’s the day
I’m gonna see him again

He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so
He’s an Indian cowboy in the rodeo
and I’m just another little girl
who loves him so.


 
 

 
 

It’s My Way
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

(I’m cutting my) own way
through my own day
and all I dare say is
It’s my own

(Got my) own seeds
Got my own weeds
I’ve got my own harvest
that I’ve sown

I can tell you
things I’ve done
and I can sing you
songs I’ve sung
But there’s one thing
I can’t give
for I and I alone can live

The years I’ve known,
the life I’ve grown.
Got a way I’m going,
and it’s my Way.

I’ve got my own stakes
in my own game
I’ve got my own name
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own wrong
I’ve got my own right
I’ve got my own fight
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own peace
I’ve got my own wrath
I’ve got my own path that only I can go
I’ve got my own sword in my own hand
I’ve got my own plan that only I can know

Don’t be crying Don’t be sighing
Your day will come; your day alone
Years you’ll know and a life you’ll grow
You got a way to go and it’s all on your own

I’ve got my own World
I’ve got my own Life
I’ve got my own Strife
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Kith
I’ve got my own Kin
I’ve got my own Sin
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Prayers
I’ve got my own Fears
I’ve got my own Tears
and it’s my Way

I’ve got my own Joy
I’ve got my own Load
I’ve got my own Road
and it’s my Way

Put down the story of what I’ve known
Your bound for glory all of your own Put down the story of what I say
You’re bound for glory
all on your own one day


 
 

 
 

Moonshot
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

Written after a conversation with Christian scholars who didn’t realize that indigenous people had already been in contact with the Creator before Europeans conquered them.

off into outer space you go my friends
we wish you bon voyage
and when you get there we will welcome you again
and still you’ll wonder at it all
see all the wonders that you leave behind
the wonders humble people own
I know a boy from a tribe so primitive
he can call me up without no telephone
see all the wonders that you leave behind
enshrined in some great hourglass
the noble tongues, the noble languages
entombed in some great english class
off into outer space you go my friends
we wish you bon voyage
and when you get there we will welcome you again
and still you’ll wonder at it all

Instrumental

an anthropologist he wrote a book
he called it “myths of heaven”
he’s disappeared, his wife is all distraught
an angel came and got him
his hair was light, his eyes were love, his words were true,
his eyes were lapis lazuli
he spoke in a language oh so primitive
that he made sense to me
off into outer space you go my friends
we wish you bon voyage
and when you get there we will welcome you again
and still you’ll wonder at it all


 
 

 
 

Soldier Blue
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

I wrote this song as the title theme for the movie Soldier Blue and it became a hit in Europe, Japan and Canada during the summer of 1971. But the movie disappeared from U.S. theatres real fast, so few Americans are familiar with it. As there’s a difference between love and rape, the same differences exist in how one views their country. “Soldier Blue” is not about loving one’s “nation state”; it’s about loving the natural environment in which all nations are related as children of the Sacred. Chris Birkett plays guitar.

I look out and I see a land
Young and lovely hard and strong
For 50,000 years we’ve danced her praises
Prayed our thanks and we’ve just begun
Yes, yes

This this is my country
Young and growing
free and flowing sea to sea
Yes this is my country
Ripe and bearing miracles
in every pond and tree

Her spirit walks the high country
giving free wild samples
and setting an example how to give
Yes this is my countrry
Retching and turning
She’s like a baby learning how to live.

I can stand upon a hill at dawn
look all around me
Feel her surround me
Soldier Blue
Can’t you see her life has just begun
It’s beating inside us
Telling us she’s here to guide us.

Ooo
Soldier Blue, Soldier Blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her

Yes this is my country
I sprang from her and I’m
learning how to count upon her
Tall trees and the corn is high country
Yes I love her and I’m
learning how to take care of her

When the news stories get me down
I take a drink of freedom to think of
North America from toe to crown
It’s never long before
I know just why I belong here

Soldier Blue, Soldier Blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her.


 
 

 
 

The Piney Wood Hills
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

This is a love song for home, wherever a person finds it. As I’ve travelled around the world, there have been many places that made the song feel new to me. Bobby Bare made it a country hit in 1967.

I’m a rambler and a rover
and a wanderer it seems
I’ve traveled all over
chasing after my dreams
But a dream should come true
and a heart should be filled
and a life should be lived
in the piney wood hills

I’ll return to the woodlands
I’ll return to the snow
I’ll return to the hills
and the valley below
I’ll return like a poor man
or a king if God wills
but I’m on my way home
to the piney wood hills

I was raised on a song there
I done right I done wrong there
and it’s true I belong there
and it’s true it’s my home

From ocean to ocean
I’ve rambled and roamed
and soon I’ll return
to my piney wood home
Maybe someday I’ll find
someone who will
love as I love my piney wood hills

I was raised on a song there
I done right I done wrong there
and it’s true I belong there
and it’s true it’s my home

I’ll return to the woodlands
I’ll return to the snow
I’ll return to the hills
and the valley below
I’ll return like a poor man
or a king if God wills
but I’m on my way home
to the piney wood hills.


 
 

 
 

My Country ‘Tis of thy People You’re Dying
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

Now that your big eyes are finally opened.
Now that you’re wondering, “How must they feel?”
Meaning them that you’ve chased cross America’s movie screens;
Now that you’re wondering, “How can it be real?”
That the ones you’ve called colorful, noble and proud
In your school propaganda,
They starve in their splendour.
You asked for our comment, I simply will render:
My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.

Now that the long houses “breed superstition”
You force us to send our children away
To your schools where they’re taught to despise their traditions
Forbid them their languages;
Then further say that American history really began
When Columbus set sail out of Europe and stress
That the nations of leeches who conquered this land
Were the biggest, and bravest, and boldest, and best.
And yet where in your history books is the tale
Of the genocide basic to this country’s birth?
Of the preachers who lied?
How the Bill of Rights failed?
How a nation of patriots returned to their earth?
And where will it tell of the Liberty Bell
As it rang with a thud over Kinzua mud?
Or of brave Unlce Sam in Alaska this year?
My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.

Hear how the bargain was made for West,
With her shivering children in zero degrees.
“Blankets for your land” – so the treaties attest.
Oh well, blankets for land, that’s a bargain indeed.
And the blankets were those Uncle Sam had collected
From smallpox diseased dying soldiers that day.
And the tribes were wiped out
And the history books censored
A hundred years of your statesmen
say, “It’s better this way”.
But a few of the conquered have somehow survived
And their blood runs the redder
Though genes have been paled.
From the Grand Canyon’s caverns
To Craven’s sad hills
The wounded, the losers, the robbed sing their tale.
From Los Angeles County to upstate New York,
The white nation fattens while other grow lean.
Oh the tricked and evicted they know what I mean:
My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.

The past it just crumbled; the future just threatens
Our life blood is shut up in your chemical tanks,
And now here you come, bill of sale in your hand
And surprise in your eyes, that we’re lacking in thanks
For the blessings of civilisation you brought us
The lessons you’ve taught us;
The ruin you’ve wrought us;
Oh see what our trust in America got us.
My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.

Now that the pride of the sires receives charity.
Now that we’re harmless and safe behind laws.
Now that my life’s to be known as your heritage.
Now that even the graves have been robbed.
Now that our own chosen way is your novelty.
Hands on our hearts
We salute you your victory:
Choke on your blue white and scarlet hypocrisy.
Pitying your blindness; How you never see -
that the eagles of war whose wings lent you glory,
Were never no more than buzzards & crows:
Pushed some wrens from their nest;
Stole their eggs; changed their story.
The mockingbird sings it;
It’s all that she knows.
“Oh what can I do?”, say a powerless few.
With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye:
Can’t you see how their poverty’s profiting you?
My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying.


 
 

 
 

Little Wheel Spin and Spin
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

Little Wheel Spin and Spin
Big wheels turn around & around
Little Wheel Spin and Spin
Big wheels turn around & around

Merry Christmas Jingle Bells
Christ is born and the devils in hell
hearts they shrink Pockets swell
Everybody know and nobody tell

Oh the sins of Caesars men
cry the pious citizens
who petty thieve the 5 & 10s
and the big wheels turn around and around

Blame the angels, blame the fates,
Blame the Jews or your sister Kate
Teach your children how to hate
and the big wheels turn around and around
Turn your back on weeds youve hoed
silly sinful seeds youve sowed
Add your straw to the camels load
and the big wheels turn around and around

Swing your girl fiddler say
Later on the piper pay
Do see do, swing and sway
Dead will dance on judgment day


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