Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Darling, Don’t Cry Video

In honor of Buffy Sainte-Marie’s new album, Power in the Blood, coming out this week, I thought I would post one of my favorite songs of hers.  Unlike many of her songs that I love for the message that is conveyed, I love this one simply because it makes me happy.  How could this song not make you happy?

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power in the Blood Out Today

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First Listen: Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Power in the Blood

Over at NPR you can listen to a free stream of the new Buffy Sainte-Marie album, Power in the Blood.  I’ve been looking forward to this album ever since I heard it was being released.  She is one of the all-time greats.

Buffy Sainte-Marie to Release New Album In May

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Last night I was extremely happy to find out that Buffy Sainte-Marie will be releasing a new album in May called Power in the Blood.  I found out by seeing the new cover pictured above.  (Looking pretty amazing for 74!)  She is one of the most fearless singer-songwriters of all time.  She was once blacklisted by LBJ for her political stances.  Instead of being defeated by being blacklisted by a sitting president, she just moved forward and continued to be outspoken.  Though most of the songs on the album are new, she starts off the album with a remake of the very last song on her first album.  Usually when an artist puts out a new album I don’t want to hear old songs again.  However, I feel that this time this reassessment of an old song has purpose.  Plus I have heard this version on iTunes and it is fantastic.  It is delivered with fire, brimstone, and power.  Things have gone full circle.  She is, all these years on, as bold as when as she began.  Here are the lyrics to the song It’s My Way:

It’s My Way

(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 kith
I’ve got my own kin
I’ve got my own sin
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 sighing
Don’t be crying 
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 wrong
I’ve got my own right
I’ve got my own fight
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

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

Don’t be sighing
Don’t be crying 
Your day will come; your day alone

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

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

Indian legislation’s on the desk of a do right congressman
And he don’t know much about the issues so he picks up the phone
And asks the advice of the senator out in Indian country
A darling of the energy companies ripping off
What’s left of the reservation

I learned the safety rule
I don’t know who to thank
Don’t stand between the reservation
And the corporate bank
They’re sending federal tanks
It isn’t nice but it’s reality

Bury my heart at wounded knee
I said deep in the earth
Won’t you cover me with pretty lies
Bury my heart at wounded knee

We got these energy companies
Who want to take the land
And we got churches by the dozens
Trying to guide our hands
And turn our mother earth
Over to pollution war and greed
No no

Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee
I said deep in the earth
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Won’t you cover me with pretty lies
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee

We got the federal marshals
We got the covert spies
We got the liars by fire
And the FBI
They lie in court and get nailed
And still Leonard Peltier goes off to jail
(the bullets don’t match the gun)

Bury my heart at wounded knee
An eighth of the reservation
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Was transferred in secret
Bury my heart at wounded knee
We got your murder and intimidation
Bury my heart at wounded knee

My girlfriend Anna May
Talked about uranium
Her head was full of bullets
And her body dumped
The FBI cut off her hands
And told us she died of exposure

To bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee
I said deep in the earth
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Won’t you cover me with your pretty lies
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Talk about a revolution
They stole my land
They won’t steal my soul

We had the gold rush wars
Why didn’t we learn to crawl’
And now our history gets written in a liar’s scrawl
They tell me “don’t be so uptight
I mean honey you can still be an Indian
Down at the y on saturday night”

Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee
I said deep in the earth
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Won’t you cover me with your pretty lies
Bury my heart at wounded knee
Bury my heart at wounded knee

Bury my heart
It was an eighth of the reservation
Bury my heart
Yeah was transferred in secret
Bury my heart
Got your murder, murder, murder and intimidation
Bury me
Bury me
Bury me
Bury my heart
Bury my heart
Bury my heart
Bury my heart

By Buffy Sainte-Marie.  Just to put an exclamation point on my last blog.

Up Where We Belong

Rolling into New Orleans soon.   Listening to Buffy Sainte-Marie’s Up Where We Belong.  It is available in the store of her website for only $7 I believe.  It is basically a greatest hits, but one that features some songs not available on other records.  Everything has been rerecorded to give the album a unity.   Usually I hate rerecordings of older songs, but I think her discography is so varied that this actually works in the record’s favor.  Some of the production is slightly dated, but it doesn’t matter.  Front to back great songs with tremendous vocal performances.  Some of the bravest political music you will ever hear.  Beautiful poetic love songs and sketches of Indian life also appear.  She can do it all.  She would be a superstar if she hadn’t frightened so many people.  I have talked her up many times, but I don’t care.  She has better albums, but none that serve as well as an introduction to her work.  If you value intelligence, passion, and bravery, this is for you.  Never be afraid again…

My Country Tis of Thy People You’re Dying, Buffy Sainte-Marie, and Native American History

The recent announcement that Buffy Sainte-Marie will be opening for Morrissey has got me pulling out her records again.  (That is a concert I would die to see!)  I just became aware of the above song, My Country Tis of Thy People You’re Dying, a song that tells the history of the United States from a Native American perspective.  I find it inspiring that a small Native American girl in a cotton dress had the courage to stand up and sing this song in the 60’s.  You won’t find many large macho males with the courage to do something like that today when, although their are miles and miles to go, things are somewhat better.  I have read a lot of history dealing with Native Americans.  While it is true that no song, however brilliant, can communicate the full complexity of that history, the lyrics of this song ring true to my understanding of that history.

Now that your big eyes have finally opened
Now that you’re wondering how must they feel
Meaning them that you’ve chased across
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 splendor
You’ve asked for my 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 toddlers away
To your schools where they’re taught
To despise their traditions

You forbid them their languages, then further say
That American history really began
When Columbus set sail out of Europe
Then stress that the nation of leeches that conquered this land
Are 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 o’er Kinzua mud
And of brave Uncle Sam in Alaska this year

My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying

Hear how the bargain was made for the West
With her shivering children in zero degrees
Blankets for your land, so the treaties attest
Oh well, blankets for land is 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 have felt
It’s better this way

And yet a few of the conquered have somehow survived
Their blood runs the redder though genes have paled
From the Gran Canyon’s caverns to craven sad hills
The wounded, the losers, the robbed sing their tale

From Los Angeles County to upstate New York
The white nation fattens while others 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 shut up in your chemical tanks
And now here you come, bill of sale in your hands
And surprise in your eyes that we’re lacking in thanks

For the blessings of civilization you’ve brought us
The lessons you’ve taught us, the ruin you’ve wrought us
Oh see what our trust in America’s brought 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 a novelty
Hands on our hearts we salute you your victory
Choke on your blue white and scarlet hypocrisy
Pitying the blindness that you’ve never seen

That the eagles of war whose wings lent you glory
They were never no more than carrion crows
Pushed the wrens from their nest
Stole their eggs, changed their story

The mockingbird sings it, it’s all that he knows
“Ah, what can I do?”, say a powerless few
With a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye
Can’t you see that their poverty’s profiting you?

My country ’tis of thy people you’re dying

Here are three great books about Native American history and our country’s Indian Wars.  (Keep in mind that these are simply three out of many.  I chose these books not only for the history that they tell, but also because all of them are absolutely captivating reads of the first order.):

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown – This is a comprehensive overview of the wars that the United States government fought with Native Americans.  This is probably the best place to start.

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides – This book focuses on Kit Carson, the Western tribes and predominately the Navajos, and the Indian Wars fought in New Mexico.  This is history truly brought to life through exceptional writing.  It has the descriptive beauty and pace of a great novel.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S.C. Gwynne – This book focuses on Quanah Parker, Texas, and the U.S. and Commanche War.  Another book where the writing is simply exceptional.  This book is also essential to understanding the culture of Texas.

Apologies about the title error earlier. Sometimes autocorrect gets the best of you!

Morrissey, Jackson Browne, Buffy Sainte-Marie

I couldn’t help but post this picture of Morrissey and Jackson Browne together.  To top it all off they were both attending a show by Buffy Sainte-Marie.  Anyone that has read this blog for awhile knows that all three are favorites of mine.  All three are also writers who have a mastery of poetry and politics.  They have the ability to look out at the world and describe what is going on with unique insight.  They are original voices, first-rate melody writers, and absolutely fearless.

Look at the Facts by Buffy Sainte-Marie:

For America by Jackson Browne (Yes, the production is dated, but what a song!):

Last, but not least, Mountjoy by Morrissey (Mountjoy is a notorious prison in Dublin):