This was written and recorded by country singer John Anderson, who was born in Florida. "Seminole Wind" is about the Native Americans (Seminoles) in Florida. The lyrics reference the Seminole war chief Osceola, whose ghost cries out over the destruction of natural resources for financial gain.
Don - B G, KY
In the second verse, Anderson uses the draining of the Florida Everglades as an example of human greed. Native American tribes took refuge there under Osceola's leadership during the Second Seminole War in the mid-1800s. By the end of the century, developers began making plans to drain the vast swampland, covering nearly 4,000 square miles, and convert it to farmland. The continuous drainage projects, for development and flood-control purposes, wreaked havoc on the Everglades' delicate ecosystem and, despite efforts to restore the wetlands, it was named the most critically endangered site in the US in 2017.
Anderson's label, BNA Records, was skeptical about releasing this as a single, thinking it wouldn't make an impact outside of Florida. But when Anderson got a standing ovation after debuting the song at a Seattle concert, he knew it was the right move. It reached the top of the country charts in the US (#2) and Canada (#1).
Anderson re-recorded this with the bluegrass group Lorraine Jordan & Carolina Road for his 2015 album, Country Grass. When asked how country music changed since the song's release in 1992, Anderson wasn't optimistic on the state of the genre in 2015. He told Rolling Stone Country: "The sounds of the fiddle and the steel has all changed so much, that in some ways at this point, I'm really worried about my particular kind of country music becoming extinct. I've never really been a guy to stand up and go so much in one direction this way or that way, but this traditional country sound does mean a whole lot to me. It's been my whole life."
James Taylor recorded this for his 2008 album, Covers.
The video, directed by Jim Shea, was filmed in the Everglades and features Anderson performing with a group of Seminole tribes around a campfire.
When Seminole Wind secured the #10 spot on the Billboard Country chart, it became Anderson's first Top 10 album on the tally since Eye of the Hurricane peaked at #3 in 1984.