New World

Album: Carry Fire (2017)
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Songfacts®:

  • This slice of mysticism about the white man's treatment of Native Americans was inspired by Robert Plant's visit to Fort Sill, a huge United States Army base about 85 miles southwest of Oklahoma City. There he learned about the plight of Quanah Parker and his Kwahadi Comanches, who were driven out of Texas to the military base. Their arrival at Fort Sill in June 1875, marked the end of Indian warfare on the south Plains. Plant told The Sun that he found visiting the fort "a crippling" experience.

    "In the middle of it all, past the McDonald's and the movie halls and once you've gone through the wire fences and presented your passport, you come to the graves of the Apache scouts," he said. "There you will also find the grave of Quanah Parker yet nobody from his tribe can visit because of where it is."
  • Robert Plant sings on "New World" about immigrants arriving in America. He told Uncut: "It's a real world immigrant song. It's today. Its definitely going on right now, and it's been going on for 500 years. There was a legation of Chinese military dignitaries in Washington a few years ago, discussing the continuity of war around the planet. One of the Chinese guys said, 'But you've got a war that's five hundred years old and you haven't even won it yet.' And they never will."
  • Reflecting on the song's meaning in a Facebook post, Plant noted, "Every day our senses are assaulted by the ridiculous. It's not so long ago that today's plots and wrangles between nation governments would seem too far-fetched to inspire a Hollywood blockbuster. The perversions and struggles leave a shadow over the spirit of the people and the land."
  • Plant recruited graphic artist Shepard Fairey to help make an animated lyrics video for this song. Fairey explained on ObeyGiant.com, that the clip features images that both he and fellow artist Ernesto Yerena created, many of which were inspired by the photos of Aaron Huey, with the pair have worked on several native rights initiatives.

    He added that the visual focuses "on the impact of imperialism on Native Americans, the environment, and sacred natural resources."

    Fairey concluded: "I hope 'New World' nudges us to ponder the hypocrisy of some white Americans, all of whom are descended from immigrants, showing too little empathy for current immigrants or the natives whose lives have been tragically impacted by attitudes of European supremacy."
  • Plant donated proceeds raised by the song to the charity Honor the Earth, which focuses on creating awareness and support for Native American environmental issues and aid to sustain Native communities.

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