As I awoke this evening with the smell of wood smoke clinging Like a gentle cobweb hanging upon a painted tepee Oh I went to see my chieftain with my warlance and my woman For he told us that the yellow moon would very soon be leaving This I can't believe I said, I can't believe our warlord's dead Oh he would not leave the chosen ones to the buzzards and the soldiers guns
Oh great father of the Iroquois ever since I was young I've read the writing of the smoke and breast fed on the sound of drums I've learned to hurl the tomahawk and ride a painted pony wild To run the gauntlet of the Sioux, to make a chieftain's daughter mine
And now you ask that I should watch The red man's race be slowly crushed What kind of words are these to hear From Yellow Dog whom white man fears
I take only what is mine Lord, my pony, my squaw, and my child I can't stay to see you die, along with my tribe's pride I go to search for the yellow moon and the fathers of our sons Where the red sun sinks in the hills of gold and the healing waters run
Trampling down the prairie rose, leaving hoof tracks in the sand Those who wish to follow me, I welcome with my hands I heard from passing renegades Geronimo was dead He'd been laying down his weapons when they filled him full of lead
Now there seems no reason why I should carry on In this land that once was my land I can't find a home It's lonely and it's quiet and the horse soldiers are coming And I think it's time I strung my bow and ceased my senseless running For soon I'll find the yellow moon along with my loved ones Where the buffaloes graze in clover fields without the sound of guns
And the red sun sinks at last into the hills of gold And peace to this young warrior comes with a bullet hole
Writer/s: BERNIE TAUPIN, ELTON JOHN
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Group
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind
Norm from BostonAnyone who likes this song needs to hear the Warren Haynes version, very transformative.
Susan In Fl from FloridaAlso yellow moon means harvest and abundance. Also noticed use of term teepee and Iroquois had long houses.
Perhaps the person saying all of this was from a more western tribe than Iroquois?
Susan In Fl from FloridaI’ve always loved this song. It is very powerful. There is, however, a lot poetic license in it and it runs afoul of reality and geography. My impression is that the story is from an Iroquois, who were located in NE and into Canada. Yellow Dog, however, was Crow and their territory was/is Wyoming through Montana abd in N Dakota. Mention of Sioux gauntlet - would that be known in area of Iroquois? Sioux were in area now known as ND, SD, Wisconsin, Minnesota. I guess I was unaware that they traveled and mixed like that.
However, that doesn’t minimize the heartbreak of the decimation of the indigenous peoples.
T from North Myrtle BeachThis song is another tapestry of the american west by Bernie Taupin written in blood and tears
Charger from TennesseeI have been a huge Elton John fan since the 70's and I must admit I was listening to MATW in the car the other day and this track came on. I was blown away again, I had forgotten all about this song over the years!! I hope he plays it when I see him in Chattanooga in March!!!!
Nathan from From The Country Of, CanadaTo Alexander of London England: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crow_Creek_massacre, European scalping was prevalent during the migration period into Europe, but that was 4th-9th century. Europe didn't make sustained contact with Europe (Vikings and some explorers happened upon Europe) until much, much later.
Hope from Boston, MaI first heard this song when I was about 10, but have recently re-discovered it. It is just so deep and moving, and it moves me to tears every time I hear it.
Charles from Bronxville, NyI recently returned from a trip with my family to Arizona where we spent time on the Navajo reservation. First of all their name is actually D'ni. If you visit Canyon De Chelley (Pr. De Shay) and find out about what happened there with General Sherman, it's hard to listen to this song without being moved.
Alexander from London, EnglandIt is well known that the White Man introduced the practise of taking scalps; the film "Soldier Blue" contains a graphic depiction of this.
Gregg from Coralville, IaAmazing song. I was literally moved to tears
Charles from Charlotte, NcDon't want to sound like I'm trivializing the suffering of the Native Americans, but weren't they the scalpers and the white man the scalpees?
Carla Thomas became the first woman to achieve a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 with a song she wrote herself when "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)" reached the chart's top tier in 1961. Thomas was just 16-years-old when she penned it.