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Peter La Farge

"Indian Drums" (karaoke)

"Indian Drums" (sheet music)


From the Indian reservation

To the governmental school,

Well, they're goin' to educate me

To the white man's Golden Rule,

And I'm learnin' very quickly,

For I've learned to be ashamed,

And I come when they call "Billy,"

'Though I've got an Indian name.

 

And there are drums beyond the mountain,

Indian drums that you can't hear;

There are drums beyond the mountain,

And they're gettin' mighty near.

 

And when they think that they'd changed me,

Cut my hair to fit their needs,

Will they think I'm white or Indian,

Quarter-blood or just half-breed?

Let me tell you, Mister Teacher,

When you say you'll make me right,

In Five Hundred years of fightin',

Not one Indian turned white.

 

And there are drums beyond the mountain,

Indian drums that you can't hear;

There are drums beyond the mountain,

And they're gettin' mighty near.

 

Well, you thought that I knew nothin',

When you brought me here to school,

Just another empty Indian,

Just America's first fool.

But I can tell you stories

That are burnt and dried and old,

But in the shadow of their telling

Walks the thunder proud and bold.

 

And there are drums beyond the mountain,

Indian drums that you can't hear;

There are drums beyond the mountain,

And they're gettin' mighty near.

 

Long Pine and Sequoia,

Handsome Lake and Sitting Bull,

There's Magnus Colorado,

With his sleeves so red and full,

Crazy Horse, the legend,

Those who bit off Custer's soul,

They are dead yet they are livin'

With the great Geronimo.

 

And there are drums beyond the mountain,

Indian drums that you can't hear;

There are drums beyond the mountain,

And they're gettin' mighty near.

 

You may teach me this land's history,

But we taught it to you first.

We broke your hearts and bent your journeys;

Broken treaties left us cursed.

Even now, you have to cheat us,

Even though you think us tame.

In our losing, we found proudness;

In your winning, you found shame.

 

And there are drums beyond the mountain,

Indian drums that you can't hear;

There are drums beyond the mountain,

And they're gettin' mighty near.

 

And there are drums

Indian drums

There are drums

And they're gettin' mighty near.


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