I remember, as a little boy at primary school, using the word geronimo. It was a sort of defiant, dig your heels in, playground noise, which little boys made when they wanted to let off steam. Inspiration for the song came after reading "Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee". The wild west was not that long ago. You can hear the track on Soundcloud.


He came from a home where the buffalo roamed,

And the mountains swept down to the plain.

He learned how to raid and he learned how to trade,

Though his wife and his family were slain.

Like some mighty machine the wheels started to turn,

Against those who could not understand,

But who’d die for the right to do as they did,

For their tribes and their families and land.


He learned how to shoot with an arrow and bow,

The antelope, bison and deer.

To gather and hunt like no other man could,

With an eye that would never show fear.

He learned how to shoot and to kill with a bullet,

From the barrel of a rifle or gun,

Though his visions and dreams seemed to pale and dim,

When he saw what the white man had done.


The west never came much more wild than this,

That’s what the newspapers read,

As he fought against those who believed in their hearts,

That the only good Indians were dead.


He lived to be old, which to some would seem strange,

For a man who could never be tamed.

Perhaps in his mind, he could never let go,

In defiance of those whom he blamed.

With the lust and the hunger and thirsting for soil,

And the claims for its minerals and wealth,

Who could make that an aim or a standard or a goal,

Without feelings for wisdom and stealth? 


Paul J Openshaw (2002 ish)

© Paul J Openshaw 2012