Native Muse

by Michael On Fire

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about

When I was seven years old, I was in the middle of the woods picking raspberries and blackberries. In a very thick growth, I observed a wealth of berries that had been untouched because they were so protected and it was near impossible to get to them. I got on my belly to army crawl under the thicket. I crawled directly over a wasp nest and unleashed hundreds of wasps that all attacked me. Within seconds, I went into shock as I had been stung over 140 times. My sister and the kids in the neighborhood packed me in mud in the middle of the woods. I left my body and went to the spirit world and became one with all of nature including the wasps that stung me and the mud in which I was packed. From that moment on, I understood the powers of the world that are so protected and honored by the native people. These things can't be discussed, only innately understood.
As a touring musician, I’ve had the opportunity to travel through America and see first-hand the powerful places once exclusively inhabited by the native tribes. I have visited the holy power spots in my journeys. For instance, my song- "Make Me A Drum" was written on the Fort Hall reservation north of Pocatello, Idaho; a Shoshone-Bannock land. “Apache Wind” came out of my experiences in the mystical Southwestern desert in honor of Goyakla, better known to white people as Geronimo. “Comanche Moon” in Texas … “Healing Waters” in Colorado … “Lost Sea” in Eastern Tennessee … “Evening In The Everglades” – Florida … “Chief Red Bird's Violin” in Michigan ... I have heard the tales and the legends and I naturally write about them because they are so worthy of my time and attention. These are truly American folk tales of the native tribes.

credits

released May 29, 2014

photo by Debra Wilson, album cover by Jeremy Ball / Bottle Branding
see individual track credits

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Michael On Fire.com

Michael on Fire, singer, songwriter, musician, and storyteller, is lauded by his fans and fellow musicians alike for his powerful lyrics and profoundly emotional performances.
For the past four decades he has toured relentlessly, constantly creating, performing and recording original music with an unswerving singularity of purpose, telling his truths in song and story.
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Track Name: Healing Waters
Healing Waters

In the days of the human beings
In the battle of the thunder moon,
when the sky was dark with war,
and the air was on fire

the dancers shook the earth,
the ancestors dwelled in the arrows and the spears,
the brave ones fought the souls
of those who died

Chorus:
The Healing Waters of the Great Spirit
Heal the pain,
Peace and honor
The Healing Waters

The fighting stopped when the blizzards came
the rivers froze and the wind was cold,
the Ute and the Arapaho,
in the mountains long ago

Chorus:

and at dawn when the night time spirits rise,
floating to the sun
the shadows of the leaves
look like ghosts climbing trees

Chorus:
Track Name: Comanche Moon
La luna bella, shines like a pearl in the sky
Trees on the hilltop, looking like people that fly
The wind was so still I could hear those coyotes breathe
Five flaming stars floating to Earth in a weave

Someone was playing a beautiful Mexican tune
Shine like a fire, they call it Comanche Moon

Vaya con Dios
Buenos noches
Adios

Leave all your troubles behind when you walk through this door
I thought I knew it all 'till I met someone who knew so much more
My face turned to leather under the desert sun
I thought I saw God when I looked down the face of a gun

Someone was playing a beautiful Mexican tune
Shine like a fire, they call it Comanche Moon

Vaya con Dios
Buenos noches
Adios

Hide all the pesos and hide all the golden rings,
all the senoritas are hungry and wanting to sing
all of the wranglers are drunk and wanting to play,
and all of the outlaws are fading away

Someone was playing a beautiful Mexican tune
Shine like a fire, they call it Comanche Moon

Vaya con Dios
Buenos noches
Adios
Track Name: I'll Make You a Drum
I’ll Make You a Drum
Many moons many suns over 99 years
The buffalo died on the wise open range
So the great spirit left, so we sell cigarettes
And the warriors dance on the Idaho plains

Will you make me a drum, will you make me a drum
So I can make thunder, and bring back the sun
When the trees come alive, when the deer start to run
When the river gets warm, I’ll make you a drum

I heard sounds in my heart, I felt pain in my ears
The fence made of laws to keep us all here
I will run like the wind, I will fight like a bear
You can’t buy my heart, and you don’t own the air

Chorus

In a house made of wood, In the shape of a square
My body might be, But my spirit’s not there
In a circle of strength, In a warrior’s will
The sound of the soul, It’s a sound you can feel

Chorus
Track Name: Chief Redbird's Violin
Chief Red Bird’s Violin
I learned to play the Fiddle on Chief Red Bird’s violin
A gift to me when I was 21
He had long since left this world and it sat for many years
And gathered dust and longed to play again---
I could feel those Northern Nights—long laced gowns and smoke filled rooms
I could see those young brides and young grooms and hear those old tunes
I learned to play the fiddle on Chief Red Bird’s violin
Only wish that I could play like him

Never even met the man but I could feel his soul
Every time I held his violin
When I touched that ancient wood the past would seem to sing
When I touched that horse hair bow to string
Maybe he was Chippewa—Ottawa or Wyandot
From the Huron—the Iroquois—Pottawatomie
I learned to play the fiddle on Chief Red Bird’s violin
Only wish that I could play like him

Something seemed so mystical when I held his violin
And smelled the inside of his beat up case
I could just imagine as I watched my clumsy fingers
Dancing gracefully across those strings
He was touched when he was born with the amber blood of the burgundy maple tree
Anointed by the autumn dance when the trees turned gold in 1933
Learned to play the fiddle on Chief Red Bird’s violin
Only wish that I could play like him
Track Name: Evening in the Everglades
Evening in the Everglades
Someone came cut down the trees, killed all the alligators
What're we gonna do if God gets mad?
Johnny Tiger, Billy Wildcat ran into a swamp
Took with them everything they had

Someone died last February. only found his shoes
Ain't no wonder everything is hungry
Oh, the smell of Mother Nature, hanging in my nose
Oh, the smell of noone else has been there

What you gonna do if you ain't got matches?
What you gonna do if you ain't got food?
What you gonna do if you ain't got shelter?
What you gonna do if you can't get sued?
Evenings in the Everglades
Oh how we love
Evenings in the Everglades

Spanish pirates, Spanish moss, hope we find some treasure
Found some comfort from the storm, also found some pleasure
Nights so humid, winds so still, hurricane is coming
Cypress trees house the spirits, seminole are running

Chorus

Someone gives some great tattoo, then she reads your fortune
Cast your waters to the wind
Cast your eyes to Neptune
Snakes that walk and bugs that slide Outside the seminary
Dolphins talk spirit talk, ain't no dictionary

Chorus
Track Name: Apache Wind
Apache Wind
Seems we’re living on the edge of a shadow,
Seems we’re living in the colder times
When the truth becomes a point of view and the law becomes a crime
In the crossfire of opinion when all virtue turns to sin

Swim against the raging river
Fly upon Apache Wind

When the holy ones are laughed at
When the old ones go to sleep
When the buildings start to crumble and the trees begin to weep
When the birds are lost in winter, and don’t know where they’ve been,

Swim against the raging river
Fly upon Apache Wind

To reward with fame and fortune when an artist sells his soul
When it’s time to bury magic in some long forgotten hole
When the eagles become portraits or sculptures made of tin

Swim against the raging river
Fly upon Apache Wind
Track Name: The Lost Sea
The Lost Sea

Chorus:
In the Cherokee caves,
at the Lost Sea,
Deep in the hills
of eastern Tennessee

You'd know what I mean,
If you've seen what I seen,
If you've been where I've been,
If you lived in my skin

There ain't no colors,
If there ain't no light,
Underground fish,
a wondrous sight

Chorus:

Bridge:
The fire still burns,
after 10,000 years,
you can still smell the smoke,
of the tribes that were here.

Chorus:

The poor rebel soldiers,
lay down and bleed,
The runaway slaves
fight to be free,
and the Yankee boys
don't know what they hear
The echoes of hell,
The demons of fear

© 2014 Michael On Fire