Buffy Sainte-Marie’s SOLDIER BLUE

SOLDIER BLUE

(Buffy Sainte-Marie)

Custer Portrait

Tell you a story, and it’s a true one
And I’ll tell it like you’ll understand
And I ain’t gonna talk like some history man

I look out and I see a land
Young and lovely, hard and strong
For fifty thousand years we’ve danced her praises
Prayed our thanks and we’ve just begun

This is, this is my country
Young and growin’ and free and flowin’ sea to sea
Yes this is my country
Ripe and bearing miracles in every pond and tree

Her spirit walks the high country
She is givin’ free wild samples and settin’ an example
How to give, yes, this is my country
Retchin’ and turnin’, she’s like a baby learnin’ how to live

I can stand upon a hill at dawn
Look all around me, feel her surround me
Soldier blue, can’t you see her life has just begun?
It’s beating inside us, telling us she’s here to guide us

Ooh, soldier blue, soldier blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her?

This is my country
And I sprang from her and I’m learnin’ how to count upon her
Tall trees and the corn is high country
Yes, I love her and I’m learnin’ how to take care of her

Whenever the news stories get me down
I, I take a drink of freedom to think of
North America from toe to crown
It’s never long before I know just why I belong here

Ooh, soldier blue, soldier blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her?
Ooh, soldier blue, soldier blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her?
Soldier blue, soldier blue
Can’t you see that there’s another way to love her?

#3 Best Westerns: Soldier Blue

soldier-blue

#3: SOLDIER BLUE

Cast:

Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, Donald Pleasence

Director:

Ralph Nelson

Awards:

Theme song by Buffy Sainte-Marie was a top ten hit throughout Europe

Summary:

Set in 1864 – the brutal Wild West of Colorado Territory – a woman and man find their fortunes entwined after an Indian attack leaves them the only white survivors.  They reach safety in time to witness the infamous Sand Creek Massacre, where a peaceful Cheyenne village is tortured and killed by the U.S. Army.

Review:

This graphic movie has been called “the most savage film in history” and it did not appeal to the Vietnam-era audience in America, because the military were portrayed as often being more violent than the “savages” they were fighting.  The acting is often over-the-top and the massacre scenes are hard to watch.  That said, however, I rate this my all-time #3 choice because it was the first film that portrayed the other side of the story, challenging the “good cowboys / bad Indians” concepts that I grew up with.  Soldier Blue awakened my consciousness to the Native American plight and dared to go where no other movie had ventured before.  The Sand Creek Massacre was one of the darkest points in the Indian Wars where terrible atrocities were carried out on innocent Cheyenne women and children. It was a story that needed to be told.  This is one of the few movies that actually changed my way of thinking and helped me to understand that there are two sides to every tale.

Have you seen this movie?  Would it be YOUR top choice?