Native American reservations
There's no brave music for native peoples, says Yuval Taylor
There's an opposing tradition: the Indian as martyr. Again, you find this in old cowboy, Tin Pan Alley and country songs, but it became much more common in the 1960s and 70s, when we were treated to Johnny Horton's The Vanishing Race, the Raiders' No 1 Indian Reservation, Elton John's overblown Indian Sunset, Cher's No 1 Half Breed, and, of course, at least four Neil Young songs. The protagonists of these songs aren't fierce warriors: they're all Christ-like. A typical example is Joe Ely's much-covered Indian Cowboy, who saves the circus from burning down but dies in the process. The death doesn't seem necessary--why couldn't he have been a living hero? I guess things don't work out that way for Indians.