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Cherokee Girl

This one was written for my friend Terri Windling on one of our visits to Tucson. We were staying with her at Endicott West and they'd just finished building the Quail House, a tiny cabin in the desert near the main house. Since it was built specifically as a creative workspace, I took my guitar out there one afternoon and christened it by writing this song.

Everything in it is true.

I think of this as a healing song. Whenever I sing it, I think of someone who could use a little positive energy in their life and send it out to them. You can, too. The more voices we get on the "hey ya, hey ya, hey ya" response line, the more energy goes out.

Coyote's in the wash, you know he never gets stuck
He drives a battered old '57 pickup truck
Cherokee girl's sitting right by his side
She's got straw-gold hair, she gives a prayer to the sky
      Singing hey ya, hey ya, hey ya / hey ya, hey ya, hey ya
      (after every verse and refrain)

Up in the Rincons, back in some canyon
There's a mesquite fire and the people are gathering
Rattlesnake rattle shake, stick on drum
And the Cherokee girl leads them in her song

refrain:
There are four directions, only one creator
Call him what you want, you know it doesn't matter
There's only one thing you've got to remember
Everything in this world is a brother or sister

The red-tailed hawk he's a brujo man
He's got a word or two about the care of the land
But nobody's listening, they don't understand
They just see a hawk, they don't see the man

Oh the aunts and uncles watch over the fire
While the people let the flames build higher and higher
Inside the lodge steam jumps from the rocks
And the Cherokee girl sings about the hawk
    refrain

Down along the river where the sycamores grow
See the red rocks rise, hear the song of the crow
She's got the desert in her heart, so deep and old
But the Cherokee girl's got a sycamore soul

Coyote's in the wash, you know he never gets stuck
He drives a battered old '57 pickup truck
Jackrabbit's sitting in the shotgun seat
Tapping her foot to a Cherokee beat

 

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Cherokee Girl by Charles de Lint
Produced & directed by Brock Zeman

Cherokee Girl
Original song by author Charles de Lint about the mix of cultures, myth and how all of us are connected to each other and this world in which we find ourselves. Features a brief cameo by Terri Windling, the Cherokee Girl for whom the song was written. Scenes from Tucson filmed by de Lint and his wife, MaryAnn Harris. Horseshoe Canyon footage by Stu Jenks.
Tamson House logo Cherokee Girl

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