By Greg Peterson
While on a California tour in mid-May, the Grand Rapids, Mich. singer began scribbling down the lyrics to “Eagle Rock (Song for the People)” as he and 6-year-old Danny played the board game about naval superiority.
“Some friends needed a babysitter for one of their kids and in between games of Battleship, I was writing down lyrics,” Nelson said.
The song is now being played by radio stations and is a free download on several Internet sites.
At every California concert, Nelson mentioned the effort to stop Kennecott Eagle Minerals from building its Eagle Project nickel and copper mine on the Yellow Dog Plains, located on state land--now leased to Kennecott--that’s included in an 1842 federal treaty giving Ojibwa rights to hunt, fish and gather. The mine portal is planned at or near Eagle Rock, the site of Ojibwa ceremonies for as long as elders can remember.
I hope Nelson's Eagle Rock song really rocks. With a subject like Eagle Rock, you should have lyrics like "Eagle Rock around the clock," "We will Eagle Rock you," or "It's only Eagle Rock but I like it."
For more on Native protest music, see Rereleasing Cash's Bitter Tears and CIA Suppressed Sainte-Marie's Music.
Below: "Grand Rapids, Mich. musician Drew Nelson recently recorded a song about Eagle Rock that is free to download and is being played on Michigan radio stations."