The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #10065   Message #3166526
Posted By: GUEST,Norman Dale
07-Jun-11 - 10:50 AM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)-Native words
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
With greatest respect, the lyrics which the "Guest" poster obtained from kovideo are only approximately correct. A good stab but not official or definitive.Here are the errors, some slight some not so slight:


The chorus does not begin with the meaningless syllables "Ha-How-Ya" but the widely known Chinook greeting (also a farewell) "Kla-how-ya" see

First Stanza

Kovideo says:

"The ghost called the nightwind
Her fancy to tell.
Dark on the slope
Blood drops are drying

Nashville recording says:

The ghostS CALL the nightwind
Dark on the SNOW
WERE the blood drops A-DRYIN

I have always wondered whether snow can actually dry out when sitting on snow but that's a bit picky and the word is definitely "snow, not "slope".

Stanza 2

Kovideo says:

And our children cannot follow
The old northern ways

Comment: the word after "northern" is definite not "ways"; It is a 2 -syllable word which sounds like "newage" (not the music but to rhyme with sewage). I have searched through Chinook dictionaries and found nothing like it so it may well be a word specific to one of the Coastal Native languages (of which there are many). I shall continue to try to connect with Ian Tyson to find out what he thinks he was saying here!

Stanza 2

Kovideo says:

And the BONES of their fathers
Are rotting in the rain

NO. It is the POLES of the fathers referring, of course, to the traditional totem poles which missionaries and then potlatch laws pushed hard to ban. In the temperate rainforest climate, such poles would deteriorate rapidly.

Stanza 3

The only other small error in the Kovideo lyrics is that they miss the word "pale" in the final stanza line that should read, "Up into the PALE yellow sunrise".