Who is the Artist? Buffy Sainte-Marie
What is the name of the song? My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying
When was it recorded/released? Released in 1966
What other (if any) famous songs did they sing? Buffy Sainte-Marie also sang The Universal Soldier, Darling Don't Cry, Starwalker and others
What do you think the lyrics of the song mean? (Line by line, verse by verse)
"Now that the longhouses breed superstition, You force us to send our toddlers away, To schools where they're taught to despise their traditions, Forbid them their languages, then further say That American history really began, When Columbus set sail out of Europe, Then stress that the nation of leeches that conquered this land are the biggest and bravest and boldest and best, and yet where in your history books is the tale, Of the genocide basic to this country's birth, Of the Preachers who lied, how the Bill of Rights failed..."
Buffy Sainte-Marie is a Native American and her song "My Country tis Thy People You're Dying" is about the discrimination that Native Americans faced and how they were forced out of their land and their homes to do things that the white people told them to.
How do they relate to or reflect the time period? The lyrics discuss some of the struggles that Native Americans have faced with their culture, land, and equality.
What was taking place in history when the song was recorder or popular?The Native American Power Movement took place around this time period. Native Americans tried to regain Alcatraz Island, which was apart of their territory
What is the overall inspiration and message of the lyrics of the song? Buffy Sainte- Marie was inspired by the history of Native Americans and she wanted to tell people how poorly things were for them. Writing a song was an easy way to get her message across to a large audience.