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The Song of the Red Man

Henry Clay Work
Lingua: Inglese


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[1868]
Testo trovato su The Music of Henry Clay Work

Non mi pare che sulle CCG ci sia un percorso sul genocidio dei popoli nativi, dall’America all’Australia, o più in specifico sullo sterminio dei Pellerossa, sicchè non è facile dire se questa sia la canzone più antica qui presente scritta da un “viso pallido” apertamente schierato contro una mattanza legalizzata, perché pianificata dal governo USA ed eseguita dal suo esercito, che durò per oltre un centinaio d’anni, se vogliamo – peraltro del tutto arbitrariamente - collocarla tra il 1776, anno di nascita degli Stati Uniti d’America, ed il 1890, anno del massacro di Wounded Knee.

Henry Clay Work scrisse questa canzone nell’anno della battaglia del fiume Washita, in Oklahoma, quando il 7° cavalleggeri del generale Custer attaccò un accampamento dei Cheyenne sopravvissuti alla strage di Sand Creek di 4 anni prima, massacrando – anche in questa occasione – donne e bambini.
When the palefaces came in their whitewing'd canoes,
Long ago, from the sun-rising sea
When they ask'd for a lodge, and we did not refuse
Happy then was the red man, and free.
He could then choose a spot for his wigwam to stand,
Where the forest was crowded with game;
For the blue-rolling lake and the ever smiling land
Were his own till the palefaces came
For the broad grassy plains and the forests deep and grand,
Were his own till the palefaces came.

They came! they came! like the fierce prairie flame,
Sweeping on to the sun-setting shore:
Gazing now on its waves, but a handful of braves,
We shall join in the chase nevermore
Till we camp on the plains where the Great Spirit reigns,
We shall join in the chase nevermore.

We receiv'd them with gladness, as Sons of the Sky
We believ'd them of heavenly birth;
But alas! to our sorrow we found by and by,
That like us they were born of the earth.
By their false traders wrong'd, by their firewater craz'd,
There was no one our braves to restrain;
So the swift flew, and the tomahawk was raise'd
While we both mourn'd the blood of our slain;
So the smoke-wreath did cease from the calumet of peace,
While we both mourn'd the blood of our slain.

They came! they came! like the fierce prairie flame,
Sweeping on to the sun-setting shore:
Gazing now on its waves, but a handful of braves,
We shall join in the chase nevermore
Till we camp on the plains where the Great Spirit reigns,
We shall join in the chase nevermore.

When the oaks, pines and cedars were fell'd to the ground,
'Twas a sight that with sorrow we saw;
For the game fled affrighted, and no food was found
For the old chief, the papoose and squaw.
Driven westward we came, but the paleface was here,
With his sharp axe and death-flashing gun;
And his great iron horse is rumbling in the rear
"O, my brave men!" your journey is done.
Like the beaver and elk like the buffalo and deer
"O, my brave men!" your journey is done.

They came! they came! like the fierce prairie flame,
Sweeping on to the sun-setting shore:
Gazing now on its waves, but a handful of braves,
We shall join in the chase nevermore
Till we camp on the plains where the Great Spirit reigns,
We shall join in the chase nevermore.

inviata da Bartleby - 4/5/2011 - 11:18



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