Song about the pride of Native Americans

Song about the pride of Native Americans

( – promoted by navajo)

I am curious if anyone has heard the song ‘San Jacinto’ by Peter Gabriel and what their thoughts are about the song.

‘San Jacinto’ tells the story of an Apache boy coming of age through a rite of passage ritual in the San Jacinto mountains in California. It illustrates the fight of all Native Americans to maintain traditions and a way of life against the relentless onslaught of the Europeans.

[Vid embed and lyrics posted by navajo, 12.20.10]  

San Jacinto

Thick cloud – steam rising – hissing stone on sweat lodge fire

Around me – buffalo robe – sage in bundle – rub on skin

Outside – cold air – stand, wait for rising sun

Red paint – eagle feathers – coyote calling – it has begun

Something moving in – I taste it in my mouth and in my heart

It feels like dying – slow – letting go of life

Medicine man lead me up through town – Indian ground – so far down

Cut up land – each house – a pool – kids wearing water wings – drink in cool

Follow dry river bed – watch Scout and Guides make pow-wow signs

Past Geronimo’s disco – Sit ‘n’ Bull steakhouse – white men dream

A rattle in the old man’s sack – look at mountain top – keep climbing up

Way above us the desert snow – white wind blow

I hold the line – the line of strength that pulls me through the fear

San Jacinto – I hold the line

San Jacinto – the poison bite and darkness take my sight – I hold the line

And the tears roll down my swollen cheek – think I’m losing it – getting weaker

I hold the line – I hold the line

San Jacinto – yellow eagle flies down from the sun – from the sun

We will walk – on the land

We will breathe – of the air

We will drink – from the stream

We will live – hold the line

1 Comment

  1. There were about this song.

    The San Jacinto Mountain range in California runs along Palm Springs, a very exclusive resort community.

    This explores the contrast between the artificial world of Palm Springs and the Indian communities on the other side of the San Jacinto Mountains who have spiritual ties to the land.

    Gabriel was influenced by an Apache Indian he met who told him of the ritual where the Medicine Man takes a young Indian boy to the mountains, allows a rattlesnake to bite him, and leaves the boy to find his way down the mountain, where he will either die or learn courage.

    The comments are interesting, some mention gaming and casinos, you know the typical off putting opinion and some mention the common noble savage mythic perspective people have of us.

    I’ve never heard of it, thanks for posting it here.

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