LAND OF THE NAVAHO

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • LAND OF THE NAVAHO
    The Navajos are an Indian tribe living in the southwestern part of the United States.
    Navajos call themselves Dineh, meaning “the people.” The Navajos came to the
    southwestern United States from the northwest Pacific coast and Canada, between the
    l3OO’s and the 1600’s. They are related to the Athabaskan tribes. They hunted deer,
    mountain sheep, antelope, and rabbit, and made their clothing from these animal skins.
    They started raiding Spanish settlers to get horses for hunting and fighting, and became
    known as great warriors by the Spanish and other surrounding Indian tribes. They grew
    corn, beans, and squash in fields that the Spanish called Nabaju, which means “great
    planted fields.” The word Nabaju became “Navajo,” pronounced “Navaho” in the Spanish
    way.
    “Land Of the Navaho” is a song written by Peter Rowen and preformed with the band
    Old And In the Way, this band features Jerry Garcia as well.
    Oh, the wind blows cold
    On the trail of the buffalo
    Oh, the wind blows cold
    In the land of the Navajo
    In the land of the Navajo
    A hundred miles from nowhere out on the desert sand
    One-eyed Jack, the trader, held some torquoise in his hand
    By his side sat Running Elk, his long-time Indian friend
    He vowed that he would stay by Jack until the bitter end
    Jack had gambled everything he owned to lead this wandering life
    He might have had a happy home and a tender loving wife
    But his hunger was for trading trapper’s furs for turquoise stone
    Anything that the Indians had, Jack wanted for his own
    [chorus]
    Said Jack to Running Elk, I’ll gamble all my precious stones
    Before I leave my body here among these bleaching bones
    But now my time is drawing near and I’m filled with dark regret
    My spirit longs to journey as the sun begins to set
    For we raped and killed, we stole your land, we ruled with guns and knives
    Fed whiskey to your warriors while we stole away your wives
    Said Running Elk, what’s done is done, you white men rule this land
    So lay the cards face up and play your last broken-hearted hand
    [chorus]
  • When you’re dealing cards with death, the joker’s wild, the ace is high
    Jack bid the Mississippi River, Running Elk raised him the sky
    Jack saw him with the sun and moon and upped him with the stars
    Running Elk bet the Rocky Mountains, Jupiter, and Mars
    The sun was sinking in the west when Jack drew the ace of spades
    Running Elk just rolled his eyes, he smiled and passed away
    Jack picked up his torquoise stones and cast them to the sky
    He stared into the setting sun and then made a mournful cry
    [chorus]
    In the land of the Navajo