Seminole Wind

Album: Seminole Wind (1992)
Play Video


  • 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. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    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.

Comments: 7

  • Rodolfo Platero from Auckland, New ZealandFor seven years I lived in Orlando, Fl. From 2000 to 2007 and learned a lot about amazing American history and the lives of the people of Florida. I understand that this is a vivid reflection of how we are capable at times throughout history to destroy everything we touch. My question in this comment is if we will continue to do the same on other planets that we are so eager to conquer?
    Greetings and I wish the best for everyone on this 2021 from New Zealand.
  • Jorge Mcsuave from St.augustineUsed to go to a Youth Conservation Camp at lake Tulsa Apopka, as a kid, had alligator pit, learned how to clean n eat armadillo, hold gators, snakes, canoed on Pristine lake, rowboats, swamp walks, saw bobcat's, fox , bear marks, heard panther screams...was awesome for a Native Fla boy from Miami.Became a Ranger and had the privilege of working at Payne's Prairie, in Micanopy...met and hung out with Guy Labree and Seminole Cheif, Osceola , while working at Folk festival in White Springs..mid 80s ...Great Floridians/ Native Sons..My father born in Vero Bch, 1920s..not many of us left ! Like the Panther and Bear, becoming quite Rare.
  • Stukka63 from St. Augustine, Fla.@ Leah from Brookland, Ny.
    I was here way before Disney showed up.
    John Anderson is from Apopka, the foliage capitol of the world. Ha ha
    Huge fertilizer was run off into the 3rd largest lake In Fla.
    The lake is pretty much nothing now.
    Lilly pad islands all over the lake, water is like a mud color.
    It’s called lake Apopka. Used to be called sportsman paradise.
    Thank you all for moving here.
  • Camille from Toronto, OhAbsolutely incredible song. I understand it's about the plight of the Seminole Indians. However, I 'd always heard that the "Seminole Winds" were about "winds of change". This song was very popular when I learned my husband and I had finally conceived a child after trying for two years. At one point, we'd both resigned ourselves to being childless, altho we still tried for a baby. So when the magic happened, our whole outlook on life took this huge shift while we adjusted our life around this new, uncharted territory we were heading in to. As I associated the song with change, I would sing it as if I was being sent into my future with the Seminole winds swirling around me. Our child is now in college and has been the most incredible gift we've ever received.
  • Leah from Brooklyn, NyAs a resident of Central Florida's Seminole County, I can tell you that some of us get nervous, whenever we hear this tune on the radio. The wind seldom blows here in this swampy climate away from the coast...unless it's a hurricane.
  • Briar from Hazard, KySeminole Wind is all about progress and the destruction of natural habitat.
  • Wayne from Crockett, TxAs much as this song is about the Seminole Indians, it speaks volumes about the loss of habitat at the expense of what is called 'progress'. Great song John.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Pam Tillis

Pam TillisSongwriter Interviews

The country sweetheart opines about the demands of touring and talks about writing songs with her famous father.

Black Sabbath

Black SabbathFact or Fiction

Dwarfs on stage with an oversize Stonehenge set? Dabbling in Satanism? Find out which Spinal Tap-moments were true for Black Sabbath.

Booker T. Jones

Booker T. JonesSongwriter Interviews

The Stax legend on how he cooked up "Green Onions," the first time he and Otis Redding saw hippies, and if he'll ever play a digital organ.

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Richard Marx

Richard MarxSongwriter Interviews

Richard explains how Joe Walsh kickstarted his career, and why he chose Hazard, Nebraska for a hit.

Angelo Moore of Fishbone

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.