The song would soon become highly popular because of its historical context. In 1987, Murphey highlighted that he selected the title of the song after he came across an image that depicted Geronimo in a…
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In an ironic move, the American government sent him a Cadillac while in prison. The image seen by Murphey was the photo taken when Geronimo was forced to pose in the Cadillac (Deloria 140). A native Indian named Bill Miller, who is also a popular pianist, re-did the same song in 2013. Miller altered some words in the original song and his changes had significance to the meaning of the song. This paper will compare the two versions, highlighting the changes made by Miller (Deloria 145).
In the second stanza of the original song by Murphey, he had said, “Whoa boys, take me back.” However, Miller changed that line to, “I said, boys take me back.” In another line where Murphey had said, “Warden, warden, don’t you know.” Miller says, “White man, white man, don’t you know.” In the line that follows this one, Miller changed, “Those prisoners,” to become “Those Indians.” The other significant change that Miller made was repeating the second stanza in the end (Murphey). Notably, Bill Miller is a Mohican artist with native Indian roots. Having recognized the historical context of Murphey’s song, he sought to make changes that would highlight the meaning of the song and the grievances of Indians in the modern day. According to Phillip Deloria, the author of a book titled “Indians in an Unexpected Places,” Geronimo’s posing in a Cadillac was a humorous photo that the whites had taken was Geronimo was in jail. However, Deloria highlights that, the native Indians would soon embrace modernity and its products and this photo would soon become a reflection of Indians using automobiles (Murphey). When the song repeats that, “Let me ride, let me ride,” Miller sought to place emphasis on the fact that Indians were not left behind but were quick to adopt
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