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Johnny Cash
 You're here » Music Lyrics Index » C » Johnny Cash » Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian » As Long as the Grass Shall Grow Lyrics

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Johnny Cash
Album: Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian
Track: As Long as the Grass Shall Grow

As Long as the Grass Shall Grow Lyrics

(Peter La Farge)
© '63 Alpha Musicana, BMI

As long as the moon shall rise as long as the rivers flow
As long as the sun will shine as long as the grass shall grow

The Senecas are an Indian tribe of the Iroquios nation
Down on the New York Pennsylvania Line you'll find their reservation
After the US revolution cornplanter was a chief
He told the tribe these men they could trust that was his true belief
He went down to Independence Hall and there was a treaty signed
That promised peace with the USA and Indian rights combined
George Washington gave his signature the Government gave its hand
They said that now and forever more that this was Indian land
As long as the moon shall rise...

On the Seneca reservation there is much sadness now
Washington's treaty has been broken and there is no hope no how
Across the Allegheny River they're throwing up a dam
It will flood the Indian country a proud day for Uncle Sam
It has broke the ancient treaty with a politician's grin
It will drown the Indians graveyards cornplanter can you swim
The earth is mother to the the Senecas they're trampling sacred ground
Change the mint green earth to black mud flats as honor hobbles down
As long as the moon shall rise...

The Iroquios Indians used to rule from Canada way south
But no one fears the Indians now and smiles the liar's mouth
The Senecas hired an expert to figure another site
But the great good army engineers said that he had no right
Although he showed them another plan and showed them another way
They laughed in his face and said no deal Kinuza dam is here to stay
Congress turned the Indians down brushed off the Indians plea
So the Senecas have renamed the dam they call it Lake Perfidy
As long as the moon shall rise...

Washington Adams and Kennedy now hear their pledges ring
The treaties are safe we'll keep our word but what is that gurgling
It's the back water from Perfidy Lake it's rising all the time
Over the homes and over the fields and over the promises fine
No boats will sail on Lake Perfidy in winter it will fill
In summer it will be a swamp and all the fish will kill
But the Government of the USA has corrected George's vow
The father of our country must be wrong what's an Indian anyhow
As long as the moon shall rise (look up) as long as the rivers flow (are you thirsty)
As long as the sun will shine (my brother are you warm) as long as the grass shall grow

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