“An Old Indian (The Indian Song)”


"An old Indian sat in his little canoe, / A-floating along o'er the water so blue. / He sang of the days when these lands were his own, / Before the palefaces among them were known." A lament for the loss of the Indians' land and culture

Supplemental text

Old Indian, An (The Indian Song)
  Partial text(s)

          *** A ***

Indian Song (2)

From Helen Creighton, Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, #121, pp. 262-263.
"Sung by Mr. Ben Henneberry, Devil's Island."

An Indian sits in his open canoe
And paddles o'er the waves and waters so blue,
And thinks of the time when the land was his own
Before the pale faces among them were known.

When first the red men was lord of the soil
They lived at their ease, free from sorrow and toil,
They hunted the otter, the beaver and deer,
And roamed the wild wood with nothing to fear.

(8 additional stanzas)

Cross references


  • Mrs. Tom Sullivan, "The Indian's Lament" (on Ontario1)


  1. Warner 30, "An Old Indian" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Fowke/Mills/Blume, pp. 86-88, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Beck 81, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text)
  4. Peacock, pp. 157-158, "The Indian's Lament" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Creighton-NovaScotia 121, "Indian Song" (1 text plus a fragment, 2 tunes)
  6. ST Wa030 (Partial)
  7. Roud #1846
  8. BI, Wa030


Alternate titles: “Poor Indian”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1932 (Creighton-NovaScotia)
Keywords: Indians(Am.) lament
Found in: US(MA,MW) Canada(Mar,Ont)