Cherokee

Album: The Final Countdown (1986)
Charted: 72
  • songfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Songimage
  • This song is a hymn to the suffering of the Cherokee nation. In May 1838, ignoring earlier decisions of the Supreme Court, the American Government forcibly relocated the bulk of the tribe at gunpoint to what was later to become Oklahoma. At one point President Andrew Jackson remarked infamously, "Justice Marshall has made his decision. Let him enforce it."

    Unsanitary conditions, the elements and marauding whites devastated the tribe's numbers, and some 4,000 died en route, many of the bodies being left unburied by the roadside on what became known as the "Trail Of Tears." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Alexander - London, England
  • Europe lead singer Joey Tempest wrote this song after browsing through a book on the subject that belonged to the wife of their producer, Kevin Elson.

    "I saw it laying around, and I thought, 'That would be interesting,'" Tempest said in our 2015 interview. "I started reading the story about the Cherokee Indians, and I thought it would be an interesting thing to write about."
  • This was a classic "one more song" composition. As often happens, the band found themselves needing one more song to complete the album, so Tempest played what he had of this one to the band, and they decided to give it a go. It ended up being the fourth single from the album.
  • The video was shot in a desert, but it was nowhere near the Cherokee nation. In fact, it wasn't even in America.

    The clip was shot in Almeria, Spain, home of the only desert in Europe and a popular location for movies set in the Old West: A Fistful of Dollars, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and various other Spaghetti Westerns were done there. The cacti that appear in the distance are props left there from previous productions.

    Nick Morris, who also did Europe's videos for "The Final Countdown" and "Carrie," was the director.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Adam Duritz of Counting CrowsSongwriter Interviews

"Mr. Jones" took on new meaning when the song about a misguided view of fame made Adam famous.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Mac Powell of Third DaySongwriter Interviews

The Third Day frontman talks about some of the classic songs he wrote with the band, and what changed for his solo country album.

Ian Anderson of Jethro TullSongwriter Interviews

The flautist frontman talks about touring with Led Zeppelin, his contribution to "Hotel California", and how he may have done the first MTV Unplugged.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

MetallicaFact or Fiction

Beef with Bon Jovi? An unfortunate Spandex period? See if you can spot the true stories in this Metallica version of Fact or Fiction.