Long before the ships arrived
Bringing European man,
America’s native people
Dwelt here and loved this land.
Great Spirit was the name they had
For the God that nurtured them,
They asked his blessings invoked his name
And sent their dead to him.
They organized in time of need
To give them strength of numbers,
Co-operation between the tribes
Often numbered in the hundreds.
The concept of nations was known to them
And today you can see it still,
As the bundle of arrows in the Eagle’s claw
On our country's dollar bills.
Their numbers greatly were reduced
By foreign plagues they couldn’t fight.
Then they got a bitter taste
Of the white man’s technical might.
Tribes died in droves as they fiercely strove
To hold on to their land,
But courage and pride could not decide
The battle for the doomed red man.
Exile or slaughter was their only choice
In this unequal test of wills,
Lush river camp and forest home
Became rocky barren hills.
Today they languish on reservations
Where life is often bleak,
But some do not accept despair
Their pride they vow to keep.
From a tortured past they have emerged,
And are proud to teach their young
Who they are and what it’s like
To speak their native tongue.
They haven’t lost all their history
Enough survives today
To see themselves as a people again,
And put their culture on display.
A nation healing and on the ascent
With reason to be proud,
As they don their dancing finery
And show it to the crowd
Then you should see them dance !
My stars it’s quite a sight,
When they start to whoop and holler
Your hair stands up in fright.
Yes the tribes are back and I am glad
We didn’t wipe them out,
These original Americans
Still have much to be proud about.
Copyright © Bob Quinn | Year Posted 2008