The Legend of White Woman Creek

by The Coldharts

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1.
Hearken Well 00:44
Hearken well to what I say Hell is found on earth today Heaven's not for folks like me Mine's the tale of Anna-Wee
2.
Go West 04:55
Go west, young woman, your country needs you Go west, young woman, good, beautiful and true Go west, young woman, the newspapers cry Go west, young woman, to civilize the wild Go west, young woman, educate the frontier Redeem our broken union, be wife to the pioneer Go west, young woman, consecrate virgin land Your body may be weak but there's power in your hands Go west young woman, and bring your moral way You steward of God, teach the savages to pray Go west young woman, care for the poor and ill The man makes the decisions, but you create the will Go west, young woman, your country needs you Go west, young woman, good, beautiful and true Go west, young woman, the newspapers cry Go west, young woman, to civilize the wild
3.
There's a suitor off in Kansas that I am for to see No other woman wants him, no woman only me He courted me by letter, his prose was less than sweet I hope he'll come off better the day we finally meet He's a respectable fiancé compared to all the rest He's got a farm in Kansas, this could turn out for the best You may talk storekeepers and miners, and sing of humble labor But I'll be spending my life with the farmer, Heinrich Faber Oh the farm he claimed in Kansas is not so much a farm Hundred-sixty wild acres and the occasional locust swarm But if we build our home and station and farm five years of seed We can file an application for the title and the deed He's a respectable farmer compared to all the rest We'll own a farm in Kansas, this could turn out for the best But his English ain't gettin' better, conversation's rather labored Maybe I'll be givin' Deutsch a try, for the farmer, Heinrich Faber There's a new wife off in Kansas, who craves a lover's touch But her husband's German-Catholic, and can't imagine much Oh in the ways of passion, he thinks it all a sin So love it must be rationed for when conceivin' kin He's a respectable husband compared to all the rest One year and still no babies, not sure how long I'll last Still livin' in a sod house, no respite from our labor 'Til the day I have a family with the farmer, Heinrich Faber
4.
Two years tired trying Still no child within me grows These days I find my happiness Making the prairie blossom like a rose Down and down the cattle path I walk to Lulu Creek My buckets overflowing, but I am like a vessel with a leak Oh the sunrise Golden glory greets the land Lord you give me strength to stand Knowing this is all part of your plan To have and to hold this in my hands The garden has been tended to The quiet time descends on me unbearable to keep Society with just myself, I wander to the pasture and I lie among the sheep In their quiet company I'm defended from the fear Of predators unknown and a future that seems more and more unclear Oh the sunset Affirms the glory of the unseen And in that violet hour I lead my flock back into the fold But is this really all I have to hold? Fodder for the animals Then back to the house, our supper to prepare Husband's home with heavy news He eats his meal, smokes his pipe, falls asleep in his chair We've lost the northern pasture, but my faith is is pure I trust the Lord will give us only what we're able to endure
5.
The Raid 03:45
That man he left the other day and where he went he wouldn't say He left in haste, out of the house he flew He took off with some other men, they're comin' back God knows when But I guess that's just how men are wont to do Those men came home the next day by three, with one man less but more injuries With bison skins in tow and fresh meat, too Boastin' they'd robbed the Cheyenne Nation, with no concern of retaliation But I guess that's just how men are wont to do That man he screamed like ne'er before as three Injuns burst through our door They demanded cup of mead and a plate of stew That man he hardly put up a fight, as the Injuns carried me off into the night But I guess that's just how men are wont to do Matthew, Mark, Luke and John Bless this horse I ride upon Hands and ankles bound Swiftly ridin' o'er hard ground And if you let my body fall Lord let me hear your angels call The Lord is the branch and I the leaf Pray God let my death be brief Let the stories be untrue The savages will torture you And if the rumors prove their worth Pray God take my soul swift from this earth Go west young woman Mama's voice inside your head Go west young woman Kidnapped, left for dead Go west young woman No one to hear you cry Go west young woman Go west and you will die Peter, James, John and Jude Oh let the tales me misconstrued Rape and scalp and burn you, too Oh let the stories be untrue None alive the headlines read But who is witness if all are dead? None alive the headlines read But who is witness if all are dead?
6.
I stand at the edge of the world And I wait for my death Holdin' on to nothin' I count every breath I keep my face to the ground I feel the pierce of a hundred eyes I wait and wait and wait and wait But still I'm alive I was greeted by a woman Who wrapped me in buffalo robes Gave me food and gave me shelter I was warm and I wasn't alone Her name was Little Thunder I learned as she points the clouds Her smile was quick as lightnin' Her laughter was sudden and loud In the mornin' we go for water In the sun we gather wood All the ladies keep the fire To make the evenin's food I didn't see no devils Or angels from a lost tribe All I see is a people Doin' their best to survive
7.
A Good Man 03:46
I remember the first time I saw my man Tellin' stories around the flame Addressin' the tribe, your eyes met with mine I asked Little Thunder your name She said that is the brave Chief Tee-Wah-Nee In battle much honor he brings He's the leader of men who fight for our land He's the Man-Who-Makes-The-Crane-Come-When-He-Sings He's a good man Who does what is right He's a good man The same day and night A man who loves peace so much that he'll fight He's a good man, a good man, a good man for you I remember the day I married my man By the creek, 'neath the cottonwood tree We stood before the tribe, our hands were entwined He called me his sweet Anna-Wee He said you are the home where my heart dwells Together much joy we will bring Forth a leader of men who'll know peace in our land Together our songs we will sing We'll raise a good man Who does what is right We'll raise a good man The same day and night A man who knows peace and won't have to fight We'll raise a good man, a good man, a good man like you Like you I remember the last time I saw my man
8.
Two Crows 08:24
There were two crows who sat on a tree And they were as black as God made them be And one of them I heard him say Oh where shall we go to dine today? Shall we go down to the tallgrass sea? Or shall we go dine by the cottonwood tree? Shall we go down to the tallgrass sea? Or shall we go dine by the cottonwood tree? As I flew over the wild prairie I saw a chargin' cavalry I waved my wings, I bent my beak The battle raged and I heard shriek There lie dog soldiers, one, two, three Oh shall we go dine on the wild prairie? There lie dog soldiers, one, two. three Oh shall we go dine on the wild prairie? Come I know a grander meal's relief The corpse of a new-slain Cheyenne Chief His blood yet on the grass is hot His bow undrawn, his shafts unshot And no one knows that he lies there But his hound, his horse, and his lady fair Oh no one knows that he lies there But his hound, his horse, and his lady fair Oh you shall tear at his naked thigh And I'll peck out his dark brown eyes You can pull a lock of his fine black hair To thicken your nest when it gets bare His flesh it gives with a little pull His flesh will keep my young ones full His flesh it gives with a little pull His flesh will keep my young ones full Oh cold and bare will his bed be When grey winter storms o'er the tallgrass sea At his head the turf at his feet limestone He neither sleeps nor hears his fair lady mourn O'er his white bones the birds will fly The wild deer run and the coyote cries O'er his white bones the birds will fly The wild deer run and the coyotes cries
9.
Go east, white woman Your family is slain Go east, white woman Not a single one remains Go east, white woman You must think of your child Go east, white woman Alone in the wild Go east, white woman His skin it could be light Go east, white woman He might still pass for white Go east, white woman No one will see to care Go east, white woman Your business is none of theirs
10.
Sleep my little chickadee Your mama loves you so All we need is you and me To make our orchard grow And we'll plant Apples, almonds and apricots, peaches, plums and pears And on your first birthday, we'll have a shady grove to share We'll plant a great, big orchard You'll grow up with those trees And we'll plant apples, almonds and apricots and generosity Just you and me Oh we'll grow apples, almonds and apricots, peaches, plums and pears And on your fifth birthday, we'll have a lot of joy to share We'll grow a great, big orchard As far as the eye can see And we'll grow apples, almonds and apricots and generosity Just you and me Oh we'll grow apples, almonds and apricots, peaches, plums and pears
11.
Two winters with the People I grew to feel the village was my home And now my dreams are haunted By the faces of loved ones, slaughtered in the snow Now all that's left of that life, I hold in my arms Oh my darlin' Daniel, I vow to keep you safe from all harm But oh this cold world So indifferent to its own Can I raise this child alone? I promise I will give you a home I'll never let you know the fear I've known We'll go back to West Virginia Mama on the front porch, she will love you as her own I'll go back to teachin' school You'll have lots of friends, and an orchard, with trees through which to run But the cavalry escorted us back to my old life The farmer, Heinrich Faber, had no smile when reunited with his wife And oh their cold eyes No one will speak to us in town Heinrich don't want him around At my baby he curses and frowns Says that half-breed can't be baptized Should be drowned
12.
All the good times are past and gone All the good times are o'er All the good times are past and gone Little darlin' don't you weep no more I wish to the Lord I stood my ground And fought alongside the Cheyenne My ashes'd be blown in the smoke Along with my son and my man I wish to the Lord I'd killed you that day That you drowned my life in the creek You told the whole town that he died in his crib That I went insane from the grief I wish to the Lord that I was free 'Stead a'locked up in this awful place Leather straps cross my arms and cross my legs No sunlight ever crosses my face I wish to the Lord that I was free So I could kill your kin like you did mine I'd hunt down your parents, your cousins, and aunts And butcher 'em all just like swine I wish to the Lord that I could rest Stead a'hauntin' this ol' creek bed Been singin' my song from dusk 'til dawn A hundred years I been dead I wish Oh Lord that you were here So I could have someone to blame Been dead a long time but a God I can't find But I'll settle for cursin' his name (The Kansas Gale)

about

The American Frontier, 1867 - A young woman flees her war-torn home to start a new life in an unfamiliar land.

A thirteen-song cycle of love, betrayal and revenge on the Kansas Prairie, sung by the ghost of Anna Morgan Faber.

"The Legend of White Woman Creek" is a new music-theater piece told from the perspective of a ghost who haunts a creek in Western Kansas. It weaves a narrative through thirteen original folk songs based on the traditional music that first inspired Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Joan Baez.

Created and Performed by Katie Hartman
Created and Directed by Nick Ryan

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released August 25, 2014

Vocals, Guitar: Katie Hartman

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The Coldharts New York

The Coldharts are Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan, two theater artists based in Brooklyn, New York. They create American Gothic­-inspired music-­theater.

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