The Six Best Songs About Manifest Destiny For Thanksgiving

Categories: Nitpick Six

1. Paul Revere And The Raiders - "Indian Reservation (The Lament Of The Cherokee Reservation Indian)"
"Indian Reservation" is the best song about manifest destiny because it comes off as anthemic rather than sympathetic. It's also the only one on this list that does not feature the phrase "white man" and have a potentially racist version on Indian war drums. The track speaks from the Cherokee perspective, which is a different breed of angry than the persona the aforementioned metal bands use. It's a quiet, calm angry that remains civil even when it bursts open on the chorus of "Cherokee nation / Cherokee tribe / So proud to live / So proud to die." There's no spite or revenge in these lyrics, but a sinister hope in the phrase "Cherokee nation will return," thereby making it also the only song that takes a step past "white man screwed Injuns." Seriously, this is a tricky topic, which is why I find songs that tackle it so fascinating. But there's a hidden mentality of "Sucks what our ancestors did to your people, but oh well" in some of these tracks. I can't imagine Scott Ian from Anthrax is losing sleep over the extinction of the buffalo. "Indian Reservation" is remarkable for its ability to be direct and inoffensive on a touchy issue while still being a fun song to sing along to. Yes, there's irony in this song being done by a band named after Paul Revere, but like so many before us when dealing with the subject of Native American cruelty, we'll just look the other way.

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