Sunday, October 19, 2014

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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