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Lyr Req: Heart of the Appaloosa (Fred Small)

16 Jul 98 - 08:37 AM (#32661)
Subject: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Jon


I'm looking for the lyrics and/or composer of an American folk song about Chief Joseph. I remember the song from about ten years ago, but I've been unable to find any info on the song.

I recall from my memory, that the chorus went something like this:

"Rolling-Thunder-in-the-Mountains lead his people across the Great Divide. There's blood on the snow in the hills of Idaho, but the heart of the Appaloosa never die."

16 Jul 98 - 09:20 AM (#32671)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Benjamin Bodhra/nai/

Try the archives at


16 Jul 98 - 11:35 AM (#32679)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Jon

I seached for the keyword 'appaloosa' but got no hits. Are the archives different from the database? Do I need special access to it?

16 Jul 98 - 05:05 PM (#32691)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Roger Himler


I believe this song was written by Fred Small, a modern American songwriter. I believe it was the title cut on a CD (or maybe even tape). I don't have time to dig further right now, but perhaps this will jog another memory. I will check back soon (unless the 'Cat is down for a while) or as soon as I can and see if you have gotten the words. If you haven't I should be able to find them somewhere.

Roger in Baltimore

16 Jul 98 - 07:15 PM (#32714)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: northfolk

Correct on Fred Small, I would have answered earlier but I had a Small memory lapse, it is available on Cassette from Schoolkidz records in Ann Arbor, MI. I think Fred may be from that area. I have seen it in other record stores, but don't know what label its on.

17 Jul 98 - 03:59 AM (#32767)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE HEART OF THE APPALOOSA (Fred Small)^^
From: Benjamin Bodhra/nai/

Now the reason you got no hits was that link did not point anywhere near where it was meant to poit to the leo archives.

But to avoid that again, here's the lyrics:

From the land of shooting waters to the peaks of the Coeur d'Alene
Thimbleberries in the forest, elk grazing on the plain
The People of the Coyote made their camp along the streams
Of the green Wallowa Valley when fences had no name.

And they bred a strain of horses, the treasure of the tribe
Who could toe-dance on a ridge or gallop up a mountainside
Who could haul the hunter's burden, turn a buffalo stampede
The horse that wore the spotted coat was born with matchless speed.

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains
Lead the People across the Great Divide
There's blood on the snow in the hills of Idaho
But the heart of the Appaloosa never died.

In the winter came the crowned ones near frozen in the cold
Bringing firearms and spyglasses and a book that saves the soul
The people gave them welcome, nursed them till their strenght returned
And studied the talking paper, its mysteries to learn.

In the shadow of the mission sprang up farms and squatter towns
The plain was lined with fences, the plow blade split the ground
In the shallows of the Clearwater gold glittered in the pan
And the word would come from Washington: remove the Indian.


The chief spoke to the People in his anger and his pain
"I am no more Chief Joseph. Rolling Thunder is my name.
They condemn us to a wasteland of barren soil and stone
We shall fight them if we must, but we will find another home."

They fled into the Bitterroot, an army at their heels
They fought at White Bird Canyon, they fought at Misery Hill
Till the colonel saw his strategy and sent the order down
To kill the Appaloosa wherever it be found.


Twelve hundred miles retreating, three times over the Divide
The horse their only safety, their only ally
Three thousand Appaloosas perishod with the tribe
The people and the horses dying side by side.

Thunder Rolling in the Mountains said, "my heart is sick and sad.
Our children now are freezing. The old chiefs are dead.
The hunger take our spirit. Our wounds are deep and sore.
From where the sun now stands I shal fight no more."


They were sent to Oklahoma, malaria ran rife
But more died of broken hearts far from the land that gave them life
And the man once called Joseph at death was heard to say
"We have given up our horses. They have gone away."

But sometimes without warning from a dull domestic herd
A spotted horse of spirit wondrous will emerge
Strong it is and fearless and nimble on a hill
Listening for thunder, the Appaloosa's living still.


17 Jul 98 - 10:05 AM (#32772)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Jon

Thank you all for your responses. I've been looking for this for several years on an off, and until I came across this web site, I was at a lose. This is really terrific!

Thanks again.


17 Jul 98 - 06:09 PM (#32790)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: lesblank

My favorite rendition of the great Fred Small song is on Allan Damron's latest 2-CD set ----"Thirty five Years" and "thirty five Years -- More of not the Same". Look up Allan's website for info on how to obtain.

17 Jul 98 - 06:14 PM (#32791)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: lesblank

OOPS! I mispelled his name; but I offer restitution in the form of a URL, to wit:

Good hunting

26 Nov 02 - 11:29 AM (#835460)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: MMario

Hey Sorcha! got the tadpoles for this by any chance?

26 Nov 02 - 11:49 AM (#835470)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Sorcha

No, but I have it on cassette..........

27 Nov 02 - 01:50 PM (#835844)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa

Also in thread 32767: Appaloosa and in the DT as song ID 8869, The Heart of the Appaloosa. No midi.

28 Nov 02 - 02:52 AM (#836280)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: open mike

there is a place in the home of the Nez Perce
called the Palouse hills-
hence appaloosa?? it is near the snake river....
several years ago i went on a raod trip/
canoe trip following the lewis and clark and
Sacagawea trail and there was a beautiful
display at one of the museums in Idaho or Oregon
about the nez perce and their horses--we also saw
old (1700's) rock carvings of horses on a canyon wall-
this brought chills and goose bumps!!

28 Nov 02 - 02:53 AM (#836282)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: open mike

speaking of fred small and his songs that feature critters,
he has a great one about a love story between a cow and a moose...
it celebrates diversity!!

02 Dec 02 - 01:19 PM (#838959)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: MMario

Thanks to Naemanson will shortly have midi of this available.

03 Dec 02 - 07:20 AM (#839495)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Sandra in Sydney

Naturally I love Larry the Polar Bear best. I've only managed to get one of his CD's - Heart of the Appaloosa. I'll get more one day.

sandra (who makes & collects bears)

03 Dec 02 - 08:14 AM (#839503)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Charley Noble

Fred Small is now a Unitarian Univerasalist minister working in the greater Boston area. Hopefully, he still finds time to sing and write a few more wonderful songs. Lord knows, the times call for more such songs.

Charley Noble

03 Dec 02 - 11:31 PM (#840093)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: GUEST,Walking Eagle

03 Dec 02 - 11:33 PM (#840097)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: GUEST,Walking Eagle

I thought we were going to be talkin' horses. I once had a Appy and he would do anything you asked of him. Never had any of those famous Ap Attacks.

I do like the song though and have printed it out.

05 Dec 02 - 07:10 PM (#841871)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: Joe_F

About 1990 I was inspired by this song to read a book, and I wrote a review of that book for a gay sf apa I belonged to at the time. It contains (at least) two mistakes, which are flagged here:

Book recently read: _The Horse of the Americas_, by Robert
M. Denhardt (2nd ed., Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1975). Read because in
November I bought a record, _The Heart of the Appaloosa_, by Fred
Small. (It was remaindered at the Glad Day Bookstore, so I guess he
must be gay. [WRONG! -- 2002] There is always _some_ connection.
Cute, too.) The title song, which I had heard on the radio some years
ago and liked because it had a tune & stuck to the facts, tells the
usual sickening story of our encroachment on some Indians in Idaho --
first the missionaries, then the squatters, then the army,
displacement, and death. It centered on the natives' horses, which
were adapted to hilly country.

This reminded me of some questions I had wondered about for many
years. One always thinks of Indians as having horses, and so they did
during most of the long agony of their intercourse with whites. But
horses were extinct in America at the time of Columbus -- recently
enough that it may have been men that killed them off, but long enough
before that none of the natives had heard of them. How did they get
horses -- mostly from the whites, or from each other, or from the
wild? What effect did horses have on the native cultures? Did they
spread from tribe to tribe by imitation, or by conquest? On what time
scale did they spread? Here, under the eyes of literate people,
[WRONG! -- 2002] occurred a process that was prehistoric in Eurasia,
and that is thought by some to have accompanied the spread of the
IndoEuropean languages. Well, did horses alter the linguistic map of

This book, which I found in the Harvard catalog, barely touches on
these questions. It is mostly concerned with the Spaniards who
brought the first horses over. However, it is entertaining on that
subject, and it has some useful chronology for my purposes, as well as
some pertinent references that I will look up. It also has some
pictures of Appaloosas; it seems there is an organization of people
who fancy them. Whether any humans of that tribe (Palouses) belong,
or even exist, is not mentioned.

05 Dec 02 - 08:44 PM (#841950)
Subject: RE: Heart of the Appaloosa
From: open mike

Fred does have a touching song about a gay couple who adopted
a little boy who had been abused by his former parents or care takers
such that he had a scar or bruise the shape of a boot on his back.
I believe the song featured two men who wanted to give the boy a
loving home but were not allowed to due to their sexual preference.
HE also has a song about disabled access where a person in a wheel
chair was forced to ride the freight elevator in order to go to a restaurant. When I heard him in concert i was sitting next to a woman in a wheel chair and we both got tears in our eyes and hugged when that song came on....

06 Jul 17 - 04:15 PM (#3864717)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Heart of the Appaloosa (Fred Small)
From: GUEST,Richard

Covered nicely by Aileen and Elkin Thomas.