Wheresoever Eagles Gather (The Ballad of Randy Weaver)

Album: Extremist One (1992)
  • This is a beautiful song about one of the ugliest affairs in contemporary American history, and might rightly be called a modern murder ballad. It is a sad fact that in the 21st Century, so many Americans distrust their government, or even regard it as a dictatorship. If one incident more than any other is responsible for that collective mindset, it is the Siege of Ruby Ridge.

    Randall Claude Weaver was born on January 3, 1948; he had three sisters, and grew up in what might be called a Christian household. In 1968, he dropped out of college and enlisted in the United States Army, winning a coveted Green Beret. After an honorable discharge in October 1971, he returned to his native Iowa and married Vicki Jordison. Their first child, Sara, was born in March 1976.

    Then they opted out, built a cabin from scrap lumber in the mountains, a cabin that had no electricity or running water, and home schooled their children. The Weavers developed their own bizarre religious beliefs, which included mixing with the Aryan Nations church, a notorious white supremacist group, though Weaver himself said he was a White Separatist rather than a white supremacist; he was certainly more concerned both with the conspiratorial nature of the American Government and the coming Armageddon. The former threat would soon become very real for Weaver, and for Vicki, so would the latter.

    It remains to be seen how a man who lives in a log cabin without electricity could even be considered a suitable target for state entrapment, but Weaver ended up selling an undercover ATF agent two sawn off shotguns, charges relating to which would be dropped if he agreed to spy on the Aryan Nations. Weaver refused, and of course his legal troubles multiplied. They came to a climax in August 1992 when a heavily armed posse turned up on his property unannounced. During the resulting shoot out, Weaver's son Sammy and his wife were killed. Sammy was shot in the back.

    Weaver and his co-defendant Kevin Harris stood trial on a multiple count indictment, including murder - Harris had shot and killed one of the invaders. Both men were acquitted of all the major charges, whereupon Weaver's attorney told the New York Times: "A jury today has said that you can't kill somebody just because you wear badges, then cover those homicides by prosecuting the innocent."

    Weaver then went on to sue the American Government and to be awarded a substantial out-of-court settlement.

    In retrospect one has to ask what was this all for? What harm did Randy Weaver and his family ever do anyone?

    Carl Klang's beautiful tribute song sums up this terrible and senseless incident, but sadly has no answers either for Randy Weaver or for those who have followed him, like David Koresh and his followers less than a year later. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander Baron - London, England


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