NOW THAT THE BUFFALO'S GONE (BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE) (early 1960s)

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The ironic lament of an Indian Cassandra confronting the pious humanitarians who mourn the savagery of our past treatment of the Indians while humbly and "helplessly" assenting to the present and continuing robbery of their lands. The Kinzua dam of upper New York State is one of the many projects that are driving the North American Indians from what lands the governments have left them. Buffy dedicates this song to her friend, Peter LaFarge.
Maynard Solomon, liner notes for Buffy Sainte-Marie, It's My Way!, 1964

Lyrics transcribed by Manfred Helfert
© 1965, Gypsy Music, Inc.

Can you remember the times
That you have held your head high
And told all your friends of your Indian claim,
Proud good lady and proud good man?
Your great-great-grandfather from Indian blood sprang
And you feel in you heart for "these ones."

Oh, it's written in books and in songs
That we've been mistreated and wronged.
But over and over I hear the same words
From you, good lady, and you, good man --
Well, listen to me if you care where we stand
And you feel you're a part of "these ones."

When a war between nations is lost,
The loser, we know, pays the cost.
But even when Germany fell to your hands,
Consider, dear lady, consider, dear man,
You left them their pride and you left them their land --
And what have you done to "these ones?"

Has a change come about Uncle Sam,
Or are you still taking our lands?
A treaty forever George Washington signed --
He did, dear lady, he did, dear man --
And the treaty's been broken by Kinzua Dam;
And what will you do for "these ones?"

Oh, it's all in the past, you can say;
But it's still going on here today.
The government now wants the Iroquois land,
That of the Seneca and the Cheyenne --
It's here and it's now you must help us, dear man --
Now that the buffalo's gone.

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