With Apologies to Mr. Young

November 7, 2016 § 2 Comments

Despite a relative lack of news coverage (at least compared to any number of other topics, including the Hillary Clinton “Servergate” email affair), most people have, I hope, at least a passing awareness of the situation revolving around Standing Rock Reservation and the proposed pipeline that opponents say threatens water supplies to the reservation, not to mention the rights and sovereignty of the reservation itself.

A number of musicians are among those speaking out against the proposed pipeline and standing in solidarity with the Sioux people, including Jackson Browne and Neil Young. Young himself is about to release a new album, written and recorded in the four months since the release of his last effort, a live album released in July.

One of the songs, “Indian Givers,” was written in response to the situation at Standing Rock. While I am a fan of many of Neil Young’s songs, this particular song indeed sounds as if it were written and recorded in a very short time, with no editing done and no attempt at rewriting. To my ear, it simply wasn’t very good. You can read about the song and hear it here then make up your own mind.

The song did get me to thinking, though, which was likely its primary purpose. What I came up with does not speak specifically to the situation at Standing Rock but is a bit more historical in its message, although Standing Rock does certainly factor into that history. It needs a bit of tweaking, but here is the first draft. Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Trail Of Broken Promises

There are some who want to take that which is not theirs
Others who cry out to have someone hear their cares
A clash of ideas, cultures collide
Which side will you come down on, or will you simply hide?

Silence is no option, merely implied consent
Will we forge a new path or go where those before us went
Following a trail of broken promises
Built on words we never meant

Those in power want more from those outside looking in
They follow their own bible where greed is not a sin
A history of taking from those in their way
While we watch in silence with nothing to say

So many hearts lie broken by those who’d circumvent
Rules and offers made by those of seeming good intent
Buried ‘neath a trail of broken promises
Built on words we never meant

They say there are two sides to every story
Why is it one side stays unheard
Perhaps the truth lies in the middle
But it’s been silenced without a word

Some have risked it all to save less than their share
Others sit in silence, too afraid to dare
Afraid to risk, afraid to fall
Too attached to what they have to risk losing it all

Listen to the echoes of a distant, sad lament
Sung by those whose misfortune our silence helped cement
Part of a trail of broken promises
Built on words we never meant

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.


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