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An Indigenous Ballad

In fourteen hundred ninety-two

Columbus sailed the ocean blue

It was a courageous thing to do

But someone was already here.



Inuit and Cherokee,

Aztec and Menominee,

The Onondaga and the Cree;

Someone was already here.

Columbus knew the world was round

He looked for the East while westward bound

He didn't find what he thought he found

Someone was already here.



Abenaki, Arapaho,

Chickasaw and Eskimo,

Conestoga and the Crow,

Someone was already here.


It isn't like it was empty

Caribs met him face to face.

Could anyone discover the place

Someone was already here?



Beaver, Blackfoot, Cherokee,

Creek, Dakota, Guarani,

Mixtec, Mohawk, Muscogee,

Someone was already here.


So tell me, who discovered

He thought he was in a different spot.

Columbus was lost; the Caribs were not

They were already here.



Narragansett, Navajo, Kiowa and

Pensacola and Pueblo, Savannah
and the Seneca,

Shawnee and the Wichita, Shoshone,
Sioux and Yakima,

Were all already here.


Words and music © 1991 by Nancy


Comments | 1

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To the point lyrics

I like the to the point lyrics.

But there’s something odd about celebrating indigenous day on or in place of Columbus Day. Columbus Day, itself, should not be a North American holiday anyway because he never set foot here. If the “Carib’s” want to have his holiday, that’s up to them. But Columbus committed so many atrocities on the islands that the “Carib’s” might want to celebrate a Columbus the Criminal Day.

To really honor Indigenous people, Columbus Day should be stricken from the the holiday books altogether and Indigenous North American tribes should form a consensus to choose a day suitable to their cultures. In absence of that, I guess superseding the current Columbus Day with Indigenous People’s Day will have to do.


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