Johnny Cash Lyrics

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Drums Lyrics

"Drums" was written by Peter La Farge.
"Drums" was written by Peter La Farge.

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From the Indian reservation to the governmental school
Well, they're goin' to educate me to the white men's Golden Rule
And I'm learning very quickly for I've learned to be ashamed
And I come when they call Billy though I've got an Indian name

And there are drums beyond the mountain
Indian drums that you can't hear
There are drums beyond the mountain
And they're getting mighty near

And when they think that they'd changed me
Cut my hair to meet their needs
Will they think, I'm white or Indian
Quarter blood or just half breed

Let me tell you, Mr. Teacher
When you say, you'll make me right
In five hundred years of fighting
Not one Indian turned white and there are drums

Well, you thought that I knew nothing
When you brought me here to school
Just another empty Indian
Just America's first fool

But now I can tell you stories
That are burnt and dried and old
But in the shadow of their telling walks
The thunder proud and bold and there are drums

Long Pine and Sequoia
Handsome Lake and Sitting Bull
There's Magnus Colorado
With his sleeves so red and full

Crazy Horse, the legend
Those who bit off Custer's soul
They are dead yet they are living
With the great Geronimo and there are drums

Well, you may teach me this land's history
But we taught it to you first
We broke your hearts and bent your journeys
Broken treaties left us cursed

Even now you have to cheat us
Even though you this us tame
In our losing we found proudness
In your winning you found shame and there are drums

Peter La Farge

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