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Against Your Will
(The Trail of Tears Story)

Broadcast version - see also long version

In 18-3-0 "Sharp Knife" Jackson carved out
For tribes in the southeast a land exchange rout
A Removal Act that Emerson and Crockett decried
Surely natives and squatters can live side by side

Soldiers guarded forts and a river of clay
from Lake of the Woods to Galveston Bay
The lands kept on shifting, the lines all were gray
Where there's greed there's death in the old USA

[chorus]
In the camps where you died
In the land of the free
On the trails where you cried
Digetsi ilvse'i
You were driven like cattle against your will

In 18-3-5 the Treaty of New Echota
Offered millions in cash and acres in Oklahoma
Chief John Ross from Georgia handed on your rejection
You made thousands of marks upon on a petition

Chief Ross cut a deal for self-preservation
Cross the wide Mississippi without reservation
Heed the acts and the treaties and the guns in your backs
Join your brothers on the Plains, time to take up your packs

[bridge]
We sent armies of thousands to shepherd you west
Made you homeless in your homeland with rifles and fists

[instrumental interlude]

[chorus]
In the camps where you died
In the land of the free
On the trails where you cried
Digetsi ilvse'i
You were driven like cattle against your will


Note: "digetsi ilvse'i" means "driven like cattle against their will" (third-person reportive tense in the Cherokee language. Source: Ryan Mackey, www.cherokee.org)

music ©2006 Hendrik Steiner and Karl Anselm (Germany)
lyrics ©2006-2009 Richard Schletty (Minnesota, U.S.A)
rschletty@schletty.com, www.richardschletty.com