Saturday, September 17, 2016

Neil Young Has A New Song About The North Dakota Pipeline... Kind Of


When I was president of Reprise Records, Neil's wish was always my command. That's a long time ago and I haven't spoken to Neil in years but, in his awesome new song, "Indian Giver," he says he wishes somebody would share the news. So... here goes. For a little background, let me suggest two things: watch the brand new Neil Young video of "Indian Giver" above-- oops, the song was just removed from YouTube, so listen to "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" instead-- and read Gaius Publius' report on the native American protests at the DAPL pipeline in North Dakota. These are the "Indian Giver" lyrics I transcribed while the song was still on YouTube this morning:
There’s a battle raging on the sacred land
Our brothers and sisters had to take a stand
Against us now for what we all been doin'
On the sacred land there's a battle brewin'
I wish somebody would share the news

Now it’s been about 500 years
We keep taking what we gave away
Just like what we call Indian givers
It makes you sick and gives you shivers
I wish somebody would share the news

Big money going backwards and ripping the soil
Where graves are scattered and blood was boiled
When all who look can see the truth
But they just move on and keep their groove
I wish somebody would share the news

Saw Happy locked to the big machine
They had to cut him loose and you know what that means
That’s when Happy went to jail
Behind big money justice always fails
I wish somebody would share the news

Bring back the days when good was good
Lose these imposters in our neighborhood
Across our farms and through our waters
All at the cost of our sons and daughters
Our brave songs and daughters
We're all here together fighting poison waters
Standing against the evil way
That’s what we have at the end of day

I wish somebody would share the news
That was a quick turn-around for Neil. The "Happy" he refers to in the song is Dale "Happy" American Horse Jr., a Native American protestor who was arrested August 31st at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation chaining himself to pipeline construction equipment for nearly six hours. So Neil wrote the song, recorded it and shot the video in the past two weeks. That's fast; that's lightning speed fast. That would be faster than a speeding bullet for an artist on an independent label, let alone for an artist with a gigantic corporate label.

This is just Neil's latest foray into protesting environmental degradation by corporate greed. If you missed "Who's Gonna Stand Up?" please listen to the orchestral version above and a Crazy Horse version below. The lyrics aren't subtle or hard to understand... and they're very much worth taking to heart. And they're very much in line with what he's done with "Indian Giver."

Paul Clements has one of the strongest and most comprehensive environmental platforms of any Democrat running for Congress anywhere. A longtime Neil Young fan, he's running for the southwest Michigan seat held by the odious chairman of the House Energy Committee, Fred Upton. Blue America has endorsed Paul-- and you can contribute to his campaign here-- and Big Oil has endorsed Upton... with $928,300 in legalistic bribes. This morning Paul told us that "It saddens me to see the plight of the Standing Rock Sioux, and how their voices are being silenced. The sanctity of their tribal lands must be defended. Unfortunately, there are some placing greed before tribal rights and our environment. My opponent has taken $40,750 from Energy Access Partners, the company trying to ram this pipeline through. What does that buy you? The energy plan that he wrote reduces the amount of time allowed for pipelines' environmental reviews. With him in Congress, we could see many more Dakota Access Pipelines.

Chase Iron Eyes is an attorney and the progressive Democratic candidate for North Dakota's single congressional seat. He was raised on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and has been participating in the pipeline protests. A few minutes ago he told us that "Not only is water sacred but food security, energy security and all economic value flows directly from water security. Water is life." This video went up yesterday:

UPDATE: "Indian Giver" Is Back Online

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At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another "safe" pipeline broke in Alabama leaking 250,000 gallons of gasoline into a wildlife refuge. We need more pipelines like we need more guns.

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