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Indian Bones is a song performed by the group Dead Meadow. What is this song...

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mavarady | (Level 1) Honors

Posted June 13, 2013 at 7:51 AM via web

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Indian Bones is a song performed by the group Dead Meadow. What is this song about? What does it have to do with archaeology?

I need to answer the question about the lyrics. Can you help me, please?



Up the mountain we go
Don't ask why, I don't know.
The North Star dances above,
the white dove

The stairway that never ends,
ends around the bend
through the door of the sun
the buffalo run to be chased
through the sky

Higher and higher we climb
I'm not having a good time
the North Star dances above
the white dove...

Out on the plains, I had a
vision of iron and steel
Isn't it strange, that my
vision is real



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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM (Answer #1)

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Dead Meadow is a psychedelic rock band formed in the 1990s. It is a popular pastime to analyse and interpret lyrics much like a person interprets poetry.

The title of this song Indian Bones immediately provides a link to something historical and the "white dove" is a well-known American Indian symbol relating to rain or water, signifying prosperity or purity. Mountains are symbolic, holy places and the buffalo roaming on the plains provides an instant visual image of the wide open spaces associated with American Indian tribes. The "stairway that never ends" could be a reference to reincarnation. The fact that it "ends around the bend" could signify the arrival of a soul in heaven or "through the door of the sun ; so too "climbing higher and higher" has a  presumably spiritual meaning.   

Bones are always an archaeological miracle and the title again makes the link. The person whose bones may have been discovered when "iron and steel"  - industry - took over areas of possibly sacred ground may have belonged to someone who did not complete his journey - in terms of American Indian philosophy on reincarnation.

The singer is "not having a good time" as he is uncomfortable in this situation and his repetition of  and reference to the North Star is maybe reminding him that he is still on earth. Astrology is very important in American Indian culture and the North Star is significant for all people as it defines a part of the world - the Northern Hemisphere - that exists across all cultures and paths.

The ending is perhaps a little unfortunate as it suggests that the American Indian historical sites have been disturbed by the industry that has arrived.  His "vision is real" and we cannot contemplate what may or may not have been lost.  



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