Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kris Kristofferson Performs "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"

A cover revisited on Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited.
    Call him drunken Ira Hayes
    He won't answer anymore
    Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
    Nor the Marine that went to war

    Gather round me people there's a story I would tell
    About a brave young Indian you should remember well
    From the land of the Pima Indian, a proud and noble band
    Who farmed the Phoenix valley in Arizona land

    Down the ditches for a thousand years
    The water grew Ira's peoples' crops
    'Till the white man stole the water rights
    And the sparklin' water stopped

    Now Ira's folks were hungry
    And their land grew crops of weeds
    When war came, Ira volunteered
    And forgot the white man's greed

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...
    There they battled up Iwo Jima's hill,
    Two hundred and fifty men
    But only twenty-seven lived to walk back down again

    And when the fight was over
    And when Old Glory raised
    Among the men who held it high
    Was the Indian, Ira Hayes

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    Ira returned a hero
    Celebrated through the land
    He was wined and speeched and honored;
    Everybody shook his hand

    But he was just a Pima Indian
    No water, no crops, no chance
    At home nobody cared what Ira'd done
    And when did the Indians dance

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    Then Ira started drinkin' hard;
    Jail was often his home
    They'd let him raise the flag and lower it
    like you'd throw a dog a bone!

    He died drunk one mornin'
    Alone in the land he fought to save
    Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
    Was a grave for Ira Hayes

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    Yeah, call him drunken Ira Hayes
    But his land is just as dry
    And his ghost is lyin' thirsty
    In the ditch where Ira died

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Johnny Cash Performs "As Long As The Grass Shall Grow" With Pete Seeger and June Carter Cash

Just bought Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited, which marks the Lth anniversary of the monumental but ignored album of Indian protest songs, and which begins with this exquisite cover — Gillian Welch - As Long as the Grass Shall Grow (Look Again To The Wind).
    As long as the moon shall rise, as long as the rivers flow
    As long as the sun will shine, as long as the grass shall grow

    The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation
    Down on the New York Pennsylvania Line you'll find their reservation
    After the US Revolution Cornplanter was a chief
    He told the tribe these men they could trust that was his true belief

    He went down to Independence Hall and there was a treaty signed
    That promised peace with the USA and Indian rights combined
    George Washington gave his signature the Government gave its hand
    They said that now and forever more that this was Indian land

    As long as the moon shall rise...

    On the Seneca reservation there is much sadness now
    Washington's treaty has been broken and there is no hope no how
    Across the Allegheny River they're throwing up a dam
    It will flood the Indian country a proud day for Uncle Sam

    It has broke the ancient treaty with a politician's grin
    It will drown the Indians graveyards Cornplanter can you swim
    The earth is mother to the the Senecas they're trampling sacred ground
    Change the mint green earth to black mud flats as honor hobbles down

    As long as the moon shall rise...

    The Iroquios Indians used to rule from Canada way south
    But no one fears the Indians now and smiles the liar's mouth
    The Senecas hired an expert to figure another site
    But the great good army engineers said that he had no right

    Although he showed them another plan and showed them another way
    They laughed in his face and said no deal Kinuza dam is here to stay
    Congress turned the Indians down brushed off the Indians plea
    So the Senecas have renamed the dam they call it Lake Perfidy

    As long as the moon shall rise...

    Washington Adams and Kennedy now hear their pledges ring
    The treaties are safe we'll keep our word but what is that gurgling
    It's the back water from Perfidy Lake it's rising all the time
    Over the homes and over the fields and over the promises fine

    No boats will sail on Lake Perfidy in winter it will fill
    In summer it will be a swamp and all the fish will kill
    But the Government of the USA has corrected George's vow
    The father of our country must be wrong what's an Indian anyhow

    As long as the moon shall rise (look up), as long as the rivers flow (are you thirsty)
    As long as the sun will shine (my brother are you warm), as long as the grass shall grow

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Two Americans at Appomattox

"I am glad to see one real American here," said Robert E. Lee extending his hand to Ely S. Parker, who responded, "We are all Americans."

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Suburb vs. Neighborhood

    One thing about Oak Lawn Estates: if a child-or anyone-had screamed long and high and hard like that on George Street, Mrs. Fountain, Mrs. Godfrey, Ida Rhew, and half a dozen housekeepers would have flown outside in a heartbeat ("Children! Leave that snake alone! Scat!"). And they would mean business, and not stand for any back talk, and stand watch at their kitchen windows after they went back inside just to make sure. But things were different at Oak Lawn Estates. The houses had a frightening sealed-off quality, like bunkers or mausoleums. People didn't know each other. Out here at Oak Lawn you could scream your head off, some convict could be strangling you with a piece of barbed wire, and nobody would come outside to see what was going on. In the intense, heat-vibrant silence, manic laughter from a TV game show wafted eerily from the nearest house: a shuttered hacienda, hunched defensively in a raw plot just beyond the pine skeletons. Dark windows. A gleaming new Buick was parked in the sand-strewn car-port.
From The Little Friend by Donna Tartt, whose The Secret History and The Goldfinch are largely responsible for this blogger's quietude for the past couple of months.

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Nicolas Gombert's Missa Media Vita in Morte Sumus Sung by The Hilliard Ensemble

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Lord, Have Mercy

As 9-year-old Mercy Kennedy sobbed along with neighbors mourning news
of her mother's death, not a person would touch the little girl to comfort her...

A Pulitzer Prize-worthy piece of photojournalism. Let us pray for this daughter and all the people of our daughter republic Liberia and her neighbors.

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