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ADD: The Indian's Lament / An Old Indian

Sandy 11 Jul 98 - 09:50 PM
12 Jul 98 - 12:49 PM
Jim Dixon 19 Nov 11 - 01:55 PM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 02:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 11 - 02:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 02:54 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 05:40 PM
GUEST,999 19 Nov 11 - 05:42 PM
Joe Offer 20 Nov 11 - 12:54 AM
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Subject: An Old Indian's Lament
From: Sandy
Date: 11 Jul 98 - 09:50 PM

The first line of this song is:

An Old Indian sat in his birch bark canoe and he floated along over the waters so blue and he sang of the times ...

We would appreciate any help with finding the rest of the words to this song. Thank you


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Subject: RE: An Old Indian's Lament
From:
Date: 12 Jul 98 - 12:49 PM

On Pete and Karen Sutherland's tape:

"Pass the Word Downriver"

You can get copies of the lyrics from:

EPACT Music P.O. Box 4 Fairfax, VT 05454

Send a SASE. For $10, you should be able to get a copy of the tape. It might be nice if you bought the tape as well if you're asking for the lyrics.

Plead with Pete to put it out on CD; I dn't know how much longer my tape is going to hold out. . .

Pete's notes:

"The Old Indian Song" (traditional) Learned from Howard Burnor of Morrisville [VT] , with an additional verse from Yankee John Galusha of Minerva, NY via the Warner Collection.

Pete and Karen's album has a number of other fine songs, including some fine compositions by Pete such as "1800-and-froze-to-death" (done by Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen).

Cheers,

-- Arne Langsetmo


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 01:55 PM

From House of Commons Debates, Official Report, Issue 2, Volume 2 by Canada. Parliament. House of Commons. (Queen's Printer, 1967), page 1368:

When speaking of the Indians, Mr. Chairman, I remember when I was a child hearing one of the first Indian songs I ever heard. It is known as the Indian Lament. Many members probably remember it. I should like to quote the first verse of this song, because it is so true in relation to the subject we are discussing this afternoon:

An old Indian sat in his birch bark canoe
And sailed o'er the waters so deep and so blue
And he sang of the time when the lands were their own
Before the pale faced men among them were known.

This lament went on through many verses to commemorate the tragedy of their race. ...


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Subject: ADD: The Indian's Lament
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:16 PM

The Indian's Lament (Collected by Kenneth Peacock)
See also: The Indian's Lament (Tommy Nemec)
And also: Birch Bark Canoe (The Moonshiners)


THE INDIAN'S LAMENT

An Indian he sat in his birch-bark canoe,
And paddled away o'er the water so blue;
He sang of the days when the land was their own,
And before the palefaces among them were known.

The time when the red-men were lords of the soil,
We lived at our ease free from sorrow and toil;
We hunted the beaver, the otter, and deer,
And roamed through the wild-wood with nothing to fear.

When the white-men first came to our own native land,
We used them like brothers, we gave them our land;
We knew they were weary, we gave them repose,
Not dreaming those white-men would e'er be our foes.

For a while we lived happy with our white friends around,
We gave them the best of our own hunting ground;
They paid us with trinkets which pleased for a while,
And caused us like children upon them to smile.

But soon they began to encroach on our rights,
Their numbers increased and they put us to flight;
They drove us away from our own native shore,
And the smoke of our campfire shall rise there no more.

They builded great cities all over our land,
And on our rich meadows their farmhouses stand;
They cleared all the country from Texas to Maine,
And the Indian may seek for his wigwam in vain.

The graves of our forefathers where are they at now?
They are rudely gone over and torn by the plow;
They have ruined our country and tore up our home,
And the Indian and buffalo will never more roam.

We'll go to the westward and find there a home,
Where hunting is good and white-men are unknown;
And when the Great Spirit calls us from the plain,
In our own spirit-world we will all meet again.

from

http://www.wtv-zone.com/phyrst/audio/nfld/15/indians.htm

GEST has some neat history after the song on the page that links to.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:19 PM

I think the thread's title is misleading because it may confuse people in future looking for the song. Can/should anything be done about that?
    Fixed it. -Joe Offer-


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Subject: Lyr. Add: The Indian's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:33 PM

THE INDIAN'S LAMENT
Peacock Collection. Trad.?

An Indian he sat in his birch-bark canoe,
And paddled away o'er the water so blue;
He sang of the days when the land was their own,
And before the palefaces among them were known.
2
The time when the red-men were lords of the soil,
We lived at our ease free from sorrow and toil;
We hunted the beaver, the otter and deer,
And roamed through the wild-wood with nothing to fear.
3
When the white-men first came to our own native land,
We used them like brothers, we gave them our land;
We knew they were weary, we gave then repose,
Not dreaming those white-men would e'er be our foes.
4
For a whle we lived happy with our white friends around,
We gave them the best of our own hunting ground;
They paid us with trinkets which pleased for a while,
And caused us like children upon them to smile.
5
But soon they began to encroach on our rights,
Their numbers increased and they put us to flight;
They drove us away from our own native shore,
And the smoke of our campfire shall rise there no more.
6
They builded great cities all over our land,
And on our rich meadows their farmhouses stand;
They cleared all the country from Texas to Maine,
And the Indian may seek for his wigwam in vain.
7
The graves of our forefathers where are they now?
They are rudely gone over and torn by the plow;
They have ruined our country and tore up our home,
And the Indian and buffalo will never more roam.
8
We'll go to the westward and find there a home,
Where hunting is good and white-men are unknown;
And when the Great Spirit calls us from the plain,
In our own spirit-world we will all meet again.

Variant collected in 1958 from Mrs. Thomas Walters of Newfoundland, published in Songs of the Newfoundland Outports vol. 1, pp. 157-158. "Probably written by a New Englander...."
Posted online by GEST.

Also recorded by Tommy Nemec (Songs From the Cape.

Typical romantic nonsense of the late 19th-early 20th century. They Indians were often engaged in intertribal warfare, and the conquering of their land is a story old in history, from first writings to the displacement of the Palestinian people.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:35 PM

Two minds familiar with Peacock's magnum opus.
Hi, 999!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:52 PM

See Folksongs of Ontario, recorded with notes by Edith Fowke, 1958, sung by Geraldine Sullivan, Smithsonian Folkways Records. Can be downloaded from Amazon.com and Smithsonian.

A completely different "An Indian's Lament" was written by Julia H. Scott, 1857.
There are several others, including one by Katherine Hardenbergh Johnson, 1887. First verse-
The story of his wanderings far and wide,
An aged chief told to his Indian braves;
Of lake and river and broad ocean tide,
And cities ceaseless roar of human waves;


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 02:54 PM

Hi, Q. Good to see you. Where ya been the past while?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 05:22 PM

999, our posts are rabbit (999) vs. the tortoise (Q)- (in real life, the rabbit wins). Q is Luddite slow typer.

Back to the subject-- someone should be able to winkle out the composer of this tiresome poem. Variants are so similar that it must have appeared in a magazine or paper.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 05:40 PM

The following is from the GEST site:

"####.... Author unknown ....####

This variant was recorded by Tommy Nemec singing acapella the songs he heard sung by his grandfather, John P. Myrick, and Thomas C. Finlay at house parties in St. Shotts and on Cape Pine, NL (Songs From The Cape, trk#5, 2003, Backcove Music, St. John's, NL, recorded at the Cape Pine Lightstation).

A variant was recorded as Birch Bark Canoe by The Moonshiners (Our Newfoundland Breed, trk#10, 1989, Independent, Goose Cove, St. Anthony, NL, and recorded at Sim Savory's Studio).

A similar variant of this song also appears in a copy of a 21-page handwritten monograph, The Boy From Kilkeel, Ireland, written by John Doran [1873-1926] and archived in the the Newfoundland stacks of The National Library of Canada, AMICUS No. 12933482, and copyrighted in 1992 by the author's grandson, John Doran of Barrie, Ontario.

A variant was collected in 1958 from Mrs. Thomas Walters of Rocky Harbour, NL, by Kenneth Peacock and published as The Indian's Lament in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Volume 1, pp.157-158, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also collected in 1951 from Cyril O'Brien of Trepassey, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada © 2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

Another variant was collected in 1929 by Helen Creighton [1899-1989] from Benjamin H. Henneberry of Devil's Island, Nova Scotia, and published as #121, An Old Indian (The Indian Song) in Songs And Ballads From Nova Scotia, pp.262-263 (Dent, 1932; Dover, 1966).

Kenneth Peacock noted that this is an American song probably written by a New Englander sensitive to the plight of the Indian. The last verse suggests that the west was not yet opened up, so the song might date from the first half of the nineteenth century or just about mid-century. Peacock added that the Indians described are obviously from the eastern woodlands."

I don't think we're gonna find an author, Q.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: An Old Indian's Lament
From: GUEST,999
Date: 19 Nov 11 - 05:42 PM

"999, our posts are rabbit (999) vs. the tortoise (Q)- (in real life, the rabbit wins). Q is Luddite slow typer."

Yeah, maybe so, Q, but you're a real researcher and I just get lucky with Mr Google.


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Subject: RE: ADD: The Indian's Lament / An Old Indian's Lament
From: Joe Offer
Date: 20 Nov 11 - 12:54 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry, where it's called "An Old Indian" (The Indian Song)

    Old Indian, An (The Indian Song)

    DESCRIPTION: "An old Indian sat in his little canoe, / A-floating along o'er the water so blue. / He sang of the days when these lands were his own, / Before the palefaces among them were known." A lament for the loss of the Indians' land and culture
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: 1932 (Creighton-NovaScotia)
    KEYWORDS: Indians(Am.) lament
    FOUND IN: US(MA,MW) Canada(Mar,Ont)
    REFERENCES (5 citations):
    Warner 30, "An Old Indian" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 86-88, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Beck 81, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text)
    Peacock, pp. 157-158, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Creighton-NovaScotia 121, "Indian Song" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes)

    ST Wa030 (Partial)
    Roud #1846
    RECORDINGS:
    Mrs. Tom Sullivan, "The Indian's Lament" (on Ontario1)
    Mrs. Thomas Walters, "The Indian's Lament" (on PeacockCDROM) [one verse only]

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Steals of the White Man" (theme)
    cf. "Logan's Lament" (theme)
    cf. "The Fair Captive" (plot elements)
    ALTERNATE TITLES:
    Poor Indian
    File: Wa030

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Bibliography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2011 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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