Eco-communities as a social vision

Eco-communities as a social vision
Egalitarian and ecological communities, like the pictured East Wind (, are very close to our vision of an ecological society

14 August, 2007

Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian) by Paul Revere & the Raiders, 1968 (*)

They took the whole Cherokee nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife
Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still proud red man deep inside

Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die

But maybe someday when they've learned
Cherokee nation will return, will return, will return, will return, will

From wikipedia:
"Indian Reservation" ("The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian") is a song written by John D. Loudermilk. It was first recorded in 1968 by Don Fardon, a former member of The Sorrows and it went to #20 on the US charts and #3 on UK charts [1]. In 1971 Paul Revere & the Raiders released it on the Columbia Records label and it became #1 on USA charts [2]. RIAA gold certification on June 30, 1971 for selling over a million copies.

This beautiful song with very simple and comprehensive lyrics cries out the culture decadence of indians Cherokee and the imposition of the western way of life to them, which was considered, even nowadays, “superior”, “highly-civilized” and the only “meaningful” that worth to exist. Their culture and art reduced to have only commercial interest and their weapons and artifacts are now massively produced "in Japan" (today in Taiwan or other poor countries where the native people work under very bad almost slaving conditions to produce false-ethic and such other stuff).

In the end, the “under costume and ties” Cherokees visioned their future culture revival. Still today, no matter the alienation and adaptation to western way of life of the majority of the Indian descendants, many tribes all over the world struggles for their ownership of the lands and for keeping their traditional way of life.

The Indian affair is a very common theme in rock lyrics, not only as a cry for social justice, but also as a basic inspiration of the vision of freedom and connection with nature of the social movement of 60s.

You can hear this song in youtube:

(*) We also read in wikipedia that the lyrics of this song are under copyright. We apologize for the use of them, but we do it in order to analyze/comment them.
Also keep in mind that our action is in great favour of the artists or the today owners of the rights, because we contribute to a possible revival of the audience’s interest about an almost forgotten but very beautiful song. Things change in time, and the protective reason of the copyright in 1971 probably has not only lost its meaning after 36 whole years but also could turn against owners purposes because of the inevitable oblivion of the work, on the contrary, a violation/copycrime could turn in favour of the owner.
We also make clear that our total effort of this blog is not profitable, but is a hobby in our leisure time and has educational purposes concerning a new synthesis of the information in the web: in our case, the ecological perspectives in rock music.


aigaiopelagitis said...

This song is a synopsis of the positive approach of the American Indians by the hippie and youth movement of the '60ies.

Hippies, from their inception as a movement, accepted and were immersed within many aspects of the indian culture.

The Red Dog Experience (from wikipedia's "hippies"):
During the early 1960s Cambridge, Massachusetts, Greenwich Village in New York City and Berkeley, California anchored the American folk music circuit. Berkeley's two coffee houses, the Cabale Creamery and the Jabberwock, sponsored performances by folk music artists in a beat setting.Starting in 1960, Chandler A. Laughlin III helped manage these two beat coffee houses, and he recruited the original talent that led to a unique amalgam of traditional folk music and the developing psychedelic rock scene. In April 1963, Laughlin established a kind of tribal, family identity among approximately fifty people who attended a traditional, all-night Native American peyote ceremony in a rural setting. This ceremony combined a psychedelic experience with traditional Native American spiritual values; these people went on to sponsor a unique genre of musical expression and performance at the Red Dog Saloon in the isolated old-time mining town of Virginia City, Nevada. Starting in June 1965, Laughlin and his cohorts created what became known as "The Red Dog Experience," featuring previously unknown musical acts--Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Charlatans, The Grateful Dead and others--who played in the completely refurbished, intimate setting of Virginia City's Red Dog Saloon. There was no clear delineation between "performers" and "audience" in "The Red Dog Experience," during which music, psychedelic experimentation, a unique sense of personal style and Bill Ham's first primitive light shows combined to create a new sense of community.George Hunter of the Charlatans and Laughlin himself were true "proto-hippies," with their long hair, boots and outrageous clothing of distinctly American (and Native American) heritage.

This positive approach towards Native Americans, and indigenous peoples in general, was inherited by the green movement, as ways of life more adapted to the rythms of nature. Greens seek to protect the rights of indigenous peoples. This comes in sharp contrast to the Marxist rejection of the indigenous peoples "to the dustbin of history", as belonging to a primitive historical period, instead of the acceptance of the more technologically advanced communist stage which was supposed to substitute inevitably capitalism. It is interesting to note also Marx's admiration of capitalism's technological advances and achievements, for example in British occupied India of that time!

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