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Michael A. Guy

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Comanche (Spirit Dancer)
by Michael A. Guy
Rated "G" by the Author.
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Recent poems by Michael A. Guy
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           >> View all 78

This REPOST from last August is to remind me to finish the arrangement for this song and because JUNE 25th was the anniversary of that battle. It is the story of the horse Comanche in 1875 from the Battle of The Little Bighorn. One of my "history songs" which I've done a few, this is the best; I have a composed lead sheet for everything but the last part added in 2005.

I'm recording this now with piano and strings and voice, but I expect it will take awhile. It is in my songbook: "Across the Sea of Madness" I last performed this in 1999 (first part)

ALSO: I would like to put in a plea for that great American Heritage, the native American Wolves. They are being slaughtered in an extermination campaign from ground and even air, AND shooting these last wild creatures even on Public Lands. Please help put an end to aerial shooting of Wolves in Alaska and our West.
THIS SONG will eventually be on my song CD whenever it is finished entitled: "Across the SEa of MaDness" - under my new performing name "Michael Guy L'Cluse" in order to distinguish myself from all those other musical "michael guys" such as "Michael Guy Chislett" certainly no better songwriter than I.
PS: I will need "Shania Twain" on this, and I know she would love this song and has the background to do it. Either her or Mary Chapin Carpenter (but MCC's marriage is tight; Shania will soon be "free")- This is a country/classical tune.


COMANCHE (Spirit Dancer)

(the story of the horse Comanche, as told by Ten Bears)

(sung by Michael A. Guy)  6/1/99 and 6/3 from vs.#1-4


(Chorus I)

He rode over the ridge that night,

Moonlight shining in the bend of the river.

AND the Winds of Change will blow,

but you know that horse will know...

            We are our dreams.

And the winds of change blew,

but you knew that horse knew...

            We are our dreams.



He was born on the prairie,

where the wind blew free, and

there was nothing to break–

the light of the sun.



Ten Bears was a Cheyenne,

born in ‘da-tsa-lu-nee’ (green corn month)

Way out on the prairie,

where everything could still breathe free.

He wanted to die out there,

And not within four walls.

                        (yea, not within those walls)

Now they’ve gone and paved his green grave

And built yet another shopping mall.


Chorus I:

            He rode over the ridge that night...

            Moonlight shining in the bend of the river.

And the winds of change will blow....

But you know that horse will know,

We are Our Dreams.




Today I’m fishing for trout out there - plenty of fresh air,

            and feeding my spirit reborn.

And I remembered the story I read somewhere,

A true story told (well) by Ten Bears.

(He was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free.)

“In the last hot days of June 1876

            Just before ‘tsa-lu-wa-nee’ (corn in tassel)

They had a big battle by the Little Bighorn.”


4. (Ten Bears):

Legend has it, only one survived Custer’s Last Stand.

(We know it sure wasn’t Custer).  I got the story first hand:

            ‘The horse’s name was Comanche and he died in 1891,

            In the month, nu-da-na-ewa’.

He was a clay-back Sorrel, buckskin Bay,

Black mane and tail, part of the Seventh Cavalry.

Born on the high plain, where the wind blew free.

*/*       Chorus I


Seven Scars for Seven Wounds from Seven Battles lost or won

And he recovered from every one.

He was Major Keogh’s horse, a big (gallant) Irishman

He fought hard, died brave, surrounded by (four) dead Indian ponies.

So the warriors did not touch his body that day-

Where Comanche, 3 days beside him lay.

Fallen with 7 holes from 7 bullets and arrows.

The Army came to bury their dead -

That horse quivered to life, and shook his (noble) head.

A corporal found him bleeding in a clump of trees (and)

Was ordered to shoot him—when he heard the horse’s (pathetic) whinnies,

            had not the heart to carry it through.

The blacksmith Korn (later became his attendant),

Dissuaded a trooper about to cut the poor animal’s throat—

And led him from the battlefield, bloody and torn

And a newfound bond (forged in war) was formed

They pulled out an arrow that passed right through his flank,

It should have ended his life, (but, one innocent spared)

He screamed like a “Comanche”– it cut like a knife.

Like a miracle - healed, living 15 more seasons—a ripe full life.

[optional ending to verse:]

At Fort Riley (in Kansas), Comanche had all the privileges

of a seasoned General, and for good reasons.

He’d march at the head of the battalion troops,

            [to the tune, “Garry Owen”]

draped in honorary battle cloth.

And when he died [in 1891], a man was appointed to stuff his hide, [it will make him last forever, he said].

Today he stands in a college in Kansas,

A glass case protects him eternal, from the ravages

 of Time & Weather.

[Option: repeat chorus]


6.  PART II (optional, added 2005)

I went up to Montana, fished a little stream

 not far from the border.

Tears in my eyes when I thought of my Mother,

And the life she gave me in that little house by the sea

 (so far away) (so long ago).

And the small brooks of my youth—Brookies no bigger than your long finger—

            I thought of Chief Joseph, over 100 years ago today,

            (freezing in the first snowy weather)

And when he was tired, he turned to say:

‘My heart is sick and sad,

From where the sun now stands-

            I will fight no more forever.’


7. (Be sure to modulate back to E minor: a dark and soaring climax into two final choruses)

—He rode over the ridge that night—

A full moon shining, at the bend in the Little Bighorn River.

I was down in the ravine tossing big white dries into

            the moon-scattered glitter.

Chorus II: (all caps means to accent and attenuate each word when singing)

AND THE // Winds of change blew -

                        but you knew that horse knew...

            WE ARE OUR DREAMS...

He rode over the ridge that night

Moonlight shining in the bend of the river,

AND THE // winds of change will blow,

but you know that horse will know...


[You  know THAT HORSE knows,]


We are Our Dreams...  (Repeat, fade or end.)



slightly revised on 3/15/2005

c. 1999/2007 Michael A. Guy, all rights reserved



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Reviewed by Bernice Lakota
You are a great lyricist!!!! I hope you know that, even without music, your words sing....
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten
"The Battle of Little Bighorn" and my wedding anniversary are on the same day! LOL! This is such a wonderful treat on my sunny Sunday morning, Michael. I can almost hear a Jim Croce voice...? My husband writes and plays his own music...I must keep trying to get him to share it! "The Battle of Little Big Horn" all over again...HA!
The spirits thank you...
and Hey!...Congrats on that Pompano! I have yet to pitch a tent or fish all year!...Filial Strife's...:) We'll have this...
Love and Peace, Michael ...PLAY that tune!
Reviewed by Charlie
I so-oo want to sing this!--hear it sung-- burry my head in the rug and just be a part of the sterio and the key shifts ache to be played by my fingers... I can almost hear the tune, like a melancholy wail--almost...

I have an Indian brother: Omaha Sioux-- I picture his proud nosed features as I read this-- standing beside a "clay-black" horse-- such a lovely image.

Have you read Manny Moreno? I think you'd get lost in his poetry too.

Great song, Michael. --Charlie
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Magnificent story. The folly of the past makes great art.

Reviewed by Rose Rideout
Michael this is absolutely a wondefful write and I can just hear it in music as I read it over, Thank you for sharing your words with us.
Newfie Hugs, Rose
Reviewed by Peter Adotey Addo
An excellent poem and graphics .. enjoyed both
Reviewed by John Leko
A historical painting of spirit and moon-scattered your own voice.
well done Michael...
Reviewed by Debra Baker
I can only say Michael that you are a brilliant. The artwork captured the entire essence of this beautiful write. Soar with that pen in your hand.
Reviewed by E T Waldron
You are so prolific Michael! Thank you for sharing this beauty with us and for all the info that is so good to learn of for there is so much wisdom in these verses!

Reviewed by Karen Palumbo
Wow! That is one beautiful photograph! This is a masterpiece to say the least. You have truely captured the essense of the once great "Native Americans" in this piece. Would just love to hear the music to it. As for the wolves, yes I know they are being slaughtered along with many other animals. An atrocity of grand proportions in the eyes of God and man.....

Be Safe,
Reviewed by Walt Hardester
Can't wait to hear the melody with this one Michael
The poetic beauty of a song is sometimes lost without a melody.

Reviewed by blue soplain
such originality and a true tributary of emotions developing, unfolding, colliding with thes tory. . .. and such a great image too; a cascade, a cavalcade of depth
Reviewed by Chantilly Lace (Reader)
Excellent writing,enjoyed...HUgsss
Reviewed by Larry Lounsbury
You have a hauntingly beautiful masterpiece here. I will be sure to buy this. Also I will sign petitions for the wolves if you want to send them to me.
Manitou will reward you forever in the happy hunting grounds my friend, for this most beautiful, touching and heroic tale.
Many Many Blessings my friend from Jasmin Horst.

ps a while back I signed some petitions for the protection of wolfs,are these the same ones? or are we crying over spilled milk already, like with the American Indian, I hope not!
Reviewed by Amber Moonstone
I have a very tender spot in my heart for horses, and Native American history. I truly love this song, if only I could hear your voice sing this beautiful tale, would be that much more beautiful.
Thank you for such a wonderful tale of Comanche...(I can feel his spirit dancing right now!)
Peace, Love, and Light,
Amber "V"
Reviewed by Dale Clark
The spirit of the majestic beast
is strong and his medicine is good.
Reviewed by ~ Holly Harbridge (Reader)
Quite original Michael, can't wait to hear your voice. Blessings, Holly
Reviewed by Jennave Coz
Exquisite,As the tears trace the trail, from eyes to heart.Thank you for sharing.Jen
Reviewed by La Belle Rouge Poetess Of The Heart
Compelling narrative in your song Michael. "We are our dreams", yes we are and that is a powerful thought.
Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner

You capture the Comanche's Warrior Spirit in beautiful lines: thank you.

(((HUGS))) and love, Karla.
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