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Song of the Red Men

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Song of the Red Men

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Song of the Red Men
(Henry Clay Work)
When the pale faces came in their white wing'd canoes,
Long a go, from the sun-rising sea,
When they asked dor a lodge, and we did not refuse,
Happy then was the red man and free.
He could then choose a spot for his wigwam to stand,
Where the forest was crowded with game;
Or the blue rolling lake and the ever smiling land,
Were his own till the pale faces came.
For the broad grassy plains and the forest deep and grand,
Were his own till the pale faces came.

cho: They came! They came! Like the fierce prairie flame
     Sweeping on to the sun-setting shore,
     Gazing now on its waves but a handful of braves
     We shall join in the chase never more;
     Till we camp on the plains where the great spirit reigns,
     We shall join in the chase never more.
We received them with gladness, as Sons of the Sky
We believed them of heavenly birth;
But alas! to our sorrow we found by and by
That, like us, they were born of the earth.
By their false traders wronged, by their fire-water crazed
There was no-one our braves to restrain;
So the swift arrow flew, and the tomahawk was raised
While we both mourned the blood of our slain;
So the smoke wreath did cease from the calumet of peace
While we both mourned the blood of our slain.

When the oaks, pines and cedars were felled to the ground
'Twas a sight that with sorrow we saw;
For the Game fled affrighted and no food was found
For the old chief, the papoose and squaw.
Driven westward we came, but the pale-face was here
WIth his sharp axe and death-dealing gun;
And his great iron horse now is rumbling in the rear
Oh my brave men! Your journey is done.
Like the beaver and elk, like the buffalo and deer
Oh my brave men! Your journey is done.

From The Songs of Henry Clay Work, Work
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III