THE BEST OF BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE (1970)

The Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie

1. Soulful Shade of Blue (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
2. Summer Boy (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
3. Universal Soldier [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
4. Better To Find Out For Yourself (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
5. Cod’ine (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
6. He’s A Keeper of the Fire (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
7. Take My Hand For A While (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
8. Groundhog (Trad., Arr. Buffy Sainte-Marie)
9. The Circle Game (Joni Mitchell)
10. My Country ‘Tis of Thy People You’re Dying (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
11. Many A Mile (Patrick Sky)
12. Until It’s Time For You To Go [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
13. Rolling Log Blues (Lottie Kimborough)
14. God Is Alive, Magic Is Afoot [lyrics]
      (words: Leonard Cohen music: Buffy Sainte-Marie)
15. Guess Who I Saw In Paris (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
16. The Piney Wood Hills [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
17. Now That The Buffalo’s Gone [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
18. Cripple Creek [lyrics] (Trad., Arr. Buffy Sainte-Marie)
19. I’m Gonna Be A Country Girl Again (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
20. The Vampire (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
21. Little Wheel Spin and Spin [lyrics] (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
22. Winter Boy (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
23. Pescadores (Buffy Sainte-Marie)
24. Sometimes When I Get To Thinkin’ (Buffy Sainte-Marie)

 
 

 
 


Universal Soldier
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

I wrote “Universal Soldier” in the basement of The Purple Onion coffee house in Toronto in the early sixties. It’s about individual responsibility for war and how the old feudal thinking kills us all. Donovan had a hit with it in 1965.

He’s five feet two and he’s six feet four
He fights with missiles and with spears
He’s all of 31 and he’s only 17
He’s been a soldier for a thousand years

He’s a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
and he knows he shouldn’t kill
and he knows he always will
kill you for me my friend and me for you

And he’s fighting for Canada,
he’s fighting for France,
he’s fighting for the USA,
and he’s fighting for the Russians
and he’s fighting for Japan,
and he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way

And he’s fighting for Democracy
and fighting for the Reds
He says it’s for the peace of all
He’s the one who must decide
who’s to live and who’s to die
and he never sees the writing on the walls

But without him how would Hitler have
condemned him at Dachau
Without him Caesar would have stood alone
He’s the one who gives his body
as a weapon to a war
and without him all this killing can’t go on

He’s the universal soldier and he
really is to blame
His orders come from far away no more
They come from him, and you, and me
and brothers can’t you see
this is not the way we put an end to war.


 
 

 
 

Until It’s Time For You To Go
© Buffy Sainte-Marie

This song popped into my head while I was falling in love with someone I knew couldn’t stay with me. The words are about honesty and freedom inside the heart. The following people recorded “Until It’s Time for You to Go”, each in his or her own way, and I sure feel honoured: Elvis Presley, Barbara Streisand, Neil Diamond, Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra, Roberta Flack, Bobby Darin, and many more. Thanks.

You’re not a dream
You’re not an angel
You’re a man

I’m not a queen
I’m a woman
Take my hand

We’ll make a space
in the lives
that we’d planned

And here we’ll stay
Until it’s time
for you to go

Yes we’re different
Worlds apart
We’re not the same

We laughed and played
at the start
like in a game

You could’ve stayed
outside my heart
but in you came

And here you’ll stay
until it’s time
for you to go

Don’t ask why
Don’t ask how
Don’t ask forever
Love me now

This love of mine
had no beginning
It has no end

I was an oak
Now I’m a willow
Now I can bend

And though I’ll never
in my life
see you again

Still I’ll stay
until it’s time
for you to go

Don’t ask why
Don’t ask how
Don’t ask forever
Love me now

You’re not a dream
You’re not an angel
You’re a man

I’m not a queen
I’m a woman
Take my hand

We’ll make a space
in the lives
that we’d planned
And here we’ll stay
Until it’s time
for you to go.


 
 

 
 

God Is Alive, Magic is Afoot
© words: Leonard Cohen music: Buffy Sainte-Marie

Leonard Cohen’s book “Beautiful Losers” stole my heart in 1963 and so did the idea of electronic processing on a vocal record. I had a recording session scheduled and Leonard was in town. I propped two pages of his book up on a music stand and I just sang it out, ad libbing the melody and guitar music together as I went along. I’ve always wanted to re-record it, as I love the way the power of the words obviously commands the music and drives it beyond any consideration of time signature.

1…

God is alive; Magic is afoot
God is alive; Magic is afoot
God is afoot; Magic is alive
Alive is afoot…..
Magic never died.

God never sickened;
many poor men lied
many sick men lied
Magic never weakened
Magic never hid
Magic always ruled
God is afoot
God never died.

God was ruler
though his funeral lengthened
Though his mourners thickened
Magic never fled
Though his shrouds were hoisted
the naked God did live
Though his words were twisted
the naked Magic thrived
Though his death was published
round and round the world
the heart did not believe

Many hurt men wondered
many struck men bled
Magic never faltered
Magic always led.
Many stones were rolled
but God would not lie down
Many wild men lied
many fat men listened
Though they offered stones
Magic still was fed
Though they locked their coffers
God was always served.

2..

Magic is afoot. God rules.
Alive is afoot. Alive is in command.
Many weak men hungered
Many strong men thrived
Though they boasted solitude
God was at their side
Nor the dreamer in his cell
nor the captain on the hill
Magic is alive
Though his death was pardoned
round and round the world
the heart did not believe.

Though laws were carved in marble
they could not shelter men
Though altars built in parliaments
they could not order men
Police arrested Magic
and Magic went with them,
for Magic loves the hungry.

But Magic would not tarry
it moves from arm to arm
it would not stay with them
Magic is afoot
it cannot come to harm
it rests in an empty palm
it spawns in an empty mind
but Magic is no instrument
Magic is the end.

Many men drove Magic
but Magic stayed behind
Many strong men lied
they only passed through Magic
and out the other side
Many weak men lied
they came to God in secret
and though they left him nourished
they would not say who healed
Though mountains danced before them
they said that God was dead
Though his shrouds were hoisted
the naked God did live

3…

This I mean to whisper to my mind
This I mean to laugh with in my mind
This I mean my mind to serve ’til
service is but Magic
moving through the world
and mind itself is Magic
coursing through the flesh
and flesh itself is Magic
dancing on a clock
and time itself the magic length of God.


 
 

 
 

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.


 
 

 
 

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.


 
 

 
 

Cripple Creek
© Trad., Arr. Buffy Sainte-Marie

A traditional song known to fiddle players, banjo and guitar players, and me: a mouthbow player. I make mouthbows. It’s the world’s oldest stringed instrument, based on a hunting bow, and found all over the world. Different from a Jew’s harp, the flexible stick part of a mouthbow can be bent while playing, which slackens the string. The changing melody is made by directing the harmonics off the string into your mouth.

Hey, I got a girl at the head of the creek
Goin up to see her about 2 times a week
Kiss her on the mouth, sweet as any wine
Wrap herself around me like a sweet potato vine

Goin up Cripple Creek, goin on a run
Goin up Cripple Creek to have a little fun
Goin up Cripple Creek, goin in a whirl
Goin up Cripple Creek to see my little girl

Now the girls up Cripple Creek about half-grown
Jump on a boy like a dog on a bone
Roll my britches up to my knees
Wade ol Cripple Creek whenever I please

Goin up Cripple Creek, goin on a run
Goin up Cripple Creek to have a little fun
Goin up Cripple Creek, goin in a whirl
Goin up Cripple Creek to see my little girl

Now, Cripple Creek’s wide and Cripple Creek’s deep
Wade old Cripple Creek before I sleep
Hills are steep and the roads are muddy
and I’m so dizzy that I can’t stand steady I’m

Goin up Cripple Creek, goin on a run
Goin up Cripple Creek to have a little fun
Goin up Cripple Creek, goin in a whirl
Goin up Cripple Creek to see my little girl.


 
 

 
 

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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