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Lyr Req: Battle of Maxton Field (Malvina Reynolds)


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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Battle of Maxton Field [Malvina Reynolds]

Jerry Friedman 17 Jan 98 - 03:26 PM
Gene 20 Jan 98 - 11:10 AM
Jerry Friedman 20 Jan 98 - 06:17 PM
judy 21 Jan 98 - 07:41 PM
Jerry Friedman 22 Jan 98 - 10:59 PM
Charlie Baum 23 Jan 98 - 01:30 AM
RedHeart 26 Aug 98 - 08:50 PM
Joe Offer 26 Aug 98 - 10:50 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Sep 03 - 07:41 PM
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Subject: Information and lyric request: Lumbees
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 17 Jan 98 - 03:26 PM

Does anyone have any information on a song, probably by Malvina Reynolds, about the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina? Lyrics would be the best, but I'd settle for being sure who wrote it and whether it really is about the 1958 incident in which these Native Americans broke up a Ku Klux Klan rally in Maxton, NC.

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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: Gene
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 11:10 AM

Suggest you try the following--

OR check GEOFF BARTLEY home page:

OR email him at:

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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 20 Jan 98 - 06:17 PM

Thanks. This is for a detail in a report about the Lumbees, so I had visited their home page as well as the excellent page in Charlotte's Web. The Geoff Bartley note was supposed to go to another thread, right?

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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: judy
Date: 21 Jan 98 - 07:41 PM

I have the tune and words in a book by Malvina Reynolds called "Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs". The title of the song is "Battle of Maxton Field".

The first words are: Now brave the Klansmen rallied there in Maxton town that night,
All armed with knives and pistol guns and honin' for a fight

I can post the words if you like and email you a JPEG of the music. Let me know. (PS the copyright on the song is 1958 but there were no notes about it)


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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 22 Jan 98 - 10:59 PM

Thank you, Gene and Judy! I think I don't need the words and music, so thanks anyway.

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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: Charlie Baum
Date: 23 Jan 98 - 01:30 AM

Lisa Null recalls this song being in an early Sing-Out!, and therefore possibly in one of the "Reprints From Sing-Out!" books.

[We were talking about the song as we drove past Maxton, NC last December on the US-74 bypass.]

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Subject: RE: Information and lyric req.: Lumbees
From: RedHeart
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 08:50 PM

I would appreciate someone sending the answer to me at I would be interested in this info because I have many Lumbee pages and would like to post the song and lyrics. My site is at

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Subject: Add: BATTLE OF MAXTON FIELD (Malvina Reynolds)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Aug 98 - 10:50 PM

words and music by Malvina Reynolds
© 1958 by Schroder Music Co.

Now brave the Klansmen rallied there In Maxton town that night.
All armed with knives and pistol guns and honin' for a fight.
Oh, rally round, you Klansmen bold, but do not show your face.
We'll burn the fiery cross tonight and save the Nordic race.
Oh, the Klan, Oh the Klan
It calls on ev'ry red blood fighting man
Who is free and white and bigot, gets his courage from a spigot,
And protects his racial purity the very best he can.

The Indians, the Indians, they are our natural foe.
They lure our girls with coke and pie, and take them to the show.
They wear blue jeans and leather coats, but anyone can see,
They are not real Americans, the like of you and me.

The heroes left their stores and plows, their pool-halls and their bars,
And in their gallant hooded shirts, they drove up in their cars.
For in this grave emergency that mustered every soul,
Who should appear to lead the fight but Wizard Jimmy Kole.

Now as the cars were drawing in an ominous sound was heard.
Was that an Indian battle cry or just a gooney bird?
Is that a gooney bird I see or Grandpa's fighting cock,
Or is it a Lumbee war-bonnet that comes from Chimney Rock

The headlights shone, the Klansmen stood in circle brave and fine,
When suddenly a whoop was heard that curdled every spine.
An Indian youth with steely eyes, he sauntered in alone,
He calmly drew his shootin' iron and conked the microphone.

Another shot, the light went out, there was a moment's hush,
Then a hundred thousand Lumbee boys came screaming from the brush.
Well, maybe not a million quite, but surely more than four,
And the Klansmen shook from head to foot and headed for the door.

The Lumbee Indians whooped and howled in the ancient Lumbee way,
And the Klansmen melted off the ground like snow on a sunny day.
Our histories will long record that perilous advance,
When many a Klansman left the field with buckshot in his pants.

The coppers listened from afar, they did not lift a gun.
They heard the noise, they said, "The boys are having a little fun."
But when they saw the nightshirt lads trooping down the road,
They knew that something went amiss, the wrong switch had been throwed.

When the coppers reached the battlefield they saw no single soul,
In Pembroke town, the Indians were hanging Jimmy Kole.
Not James himself, for he had fled with his shirt-tail hanging free,
But all the joyful Lumbee boys, they hanged his effigy.
Final chorus:
Oh, the Klan, Oh, the Klan
They've hung their little nightshirts in the can*
If you want to see them run, shoot a pistol toward the sun,
And give an Indian war whoop like a joyful Lumbee man.
*or, says Malvina: "their bedsheet ended up where it began" (depending upon the age and condition of your audience)

ABC format:

T:Battle of Maxton Field

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Subject: Lyr Add: The Battle of Maxton Field (resubmitted)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Sep 03 - 07:41 PM

The text of this great song was submitted way back in '98, and has not made it into either the DT proper or the downloaded version that I have. Therefore I'm placing this post, to bring this again to the attention of the harvesters.

Dave Oesterreich

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