Red Dawn

The Covered Wagon Musicians
Language: English

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Words: Mark Lane.
Music: Jim Schaffer


COVERED WAGON MUSICIANS: The group came into being in June of 1971, during the escalation of technological warfare by the Air Force, as just one of the voices of GI resistance at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho. Two of the GIs against imperialism in the short—and long—one of the civilian organizers, Mark Lane, wrote the first original Wagon song, "Silver Bird" (about the awesome B-52s and the resistance of the GIs who work on them), Since then, hundreds of GIs, both enlisted and commissioned women and men, together with their civilian friends, have shaped the experiences of the Covered Wagon. Our songs have been sung everywhere on the base: in the barracks, on the flight line, in the planes, in the maintenance shops, in the chow hall, off the base at the project, after a collective meal, a newspaper planning meeting, beer blasts, study groups and all over Idaho at rallies, on TV, in demonstrations, always spreading the word of GI resistance. The singers and others were organizing GIs against imperialism in the short and in the long range, and building unity around GI demands for their immediate needs: better working and living conditions and freedom from racism, sexism and militarism within the armed forces. In short, we were "making our songs louder than the sounds of the bombs," as the Vietnamese say. The music on this album was performed by several ex-GIs and military dependents who have worked—or are still working—at the Covered Wagon GI project in Mountain Home, Idaho.
-Jim Schaffer

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RED DAWN: On more than one occasion, GIs and civilian organizers from the Covered Wagon went to Wounded Knee and the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to assist the American Indian Movement and the Wounded Knee Legal Defense/Offense Committee during the 1973 ,ocupation and siege. This song, written by Mark Lane and myself when we were living there, is an attemPt to summarize some reflections, images and concerns of the life one leads while on the Pine Ridge Reservation. I am singing lead vocal and playing acoustic guitar. Vic Pacania, Patrick Henry, Nancy Rhodes and Dusty Rhodes are also singing, and Dennis Smith adds the eerie, powerful harmonica.
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I feel the plains are singing
And rolling in the sun
Sandy creeks are humming
And the earth, the sky are one

The gadlands smile and call to me.
And shadows dance at dawn
Ancient carvings are in the land
But ancient dreams are gone.

Red dawn, red sand, red woman, red man.

Now it's time to think of sisters
And of brothers from the land
Whose dreams once filled this empty place
Whose bones reason the sand.

I breathe the pure and sparkling air
Of a thousand years ago.
I hear the rushing sound of water
And I see the bubbling, crystal flow.

Red dawn, red sand, red woman, red man.

I see the massive, endless herds.
I sense the peace of harmony,
Of creatures that crawl and fly and walk,
With the plains and the grass and the sun and the sea.

Red dawn, red sand, red woman, red man.

Oh, come and take this land again
The earth you loved must now be free
Give this whole land peace and hope again,
Stand as you stood at Wounded Knee.

Red dawn, red sand, red woman, red man.

Contributed by DoNQuijote82 - 2013/7/19 - 21:20

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