DESCRIPTION: The singer describes the happy lives of various creatures, then turns to his own unhappy lot. His wife, children, and people have been destroyed by the white man. He vows to "dig up my hatchet and bend my oak bow...."
EARLIEST DATE: 1844 (fragment in Sanders' Fourth Reader)
KEYWORDS: animal Indians(Am.) homicide revenge
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Eddy 112, "The Blackbird, or Logan's Lament" (1 text plus an excerpt, 1 tune)
Grimes, pp. 147-149, "Logan's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
Burt, pp. 128-129, "Logan's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
ST E112 (Full)
cf. "Steals of the White Man" (theme)
cf. "Jilson Setters's Indian Song" (theme)
cf. "An Old Indian (The Indian Song)"
NOTES: Eddy reports that this song is based on a speech by one Logan, the son of a white man and a Cayuga woman. His family was slain by Europeans, and he vowed revenge, igniting what is known as Lord Dunmore's War (for which see "The Battle of Point Pleasant"). When the Shawnee chief Cornstalk made peace with Dunmore (the Royal governor of Virginia) in 1775, Logan refused to give up his vengeance, and offered this speech (delivered under the Logan Elm in Pickaway County, Ohio) to back his position.
Despite its origin, the first few stanzas of this song bear an interesting similarity to Jesus's words in Matt. 8:20, Luke 9:58. - RBW
Logan, a chief of the Mingo tribe, was raised a Christian, and the beginning of his oration under the elm is a clear paraphrase of the cited passages from the Bible. A biography of Logan, and the full text of his speech, may be found in Walter G. Shotwell's Driftwood (1927, reprinted 1966 by the Books for Libraries Press, Freeport, NY). - PJS
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