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Lab Track: The Parasite (For Buffy)

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This week in America we are celebrating Thanksgiving, one of the celebrations of the establishment of the country. The history of which, up until recently, is usually whitewashed and nostalgic, so imagine the controversy stirred up in 1971 when Eugene McDaniels released a song critical of the history of America. Details after the jump. In 1971 Eugene McDaniels decided to go by his given name, instead of his stage name of Gene McDaniels, and make the music he wanted to make and the music that was hinted at on his previous album Outlaw released in 1970. On Headless Heroes of the Apocalypse, McDaniels put his humanitarian ideals to music, the last track being The Parasite (For Buffy), which documents the treatment of the Native Americans at the hands of the Pilgrims. Remember that this was in 1971, and black musical artists didn’t make songs like The Parasite, in fact, the song so enraged Vice President Spiro Agnew that he called Atlantic records and demanded to know why they had released such a seditious record. In the end Atlantic stopped advertising the record, sales died, and McDaniels wouldn’t make another record under his own name until 2004’s Screams and Whispers. Unfortunately, Mr. McDaniels passed away this year at his home, but his legacy lives on and we appreciate his contribution to music history.

The Parasite (For Buffy) by Eugene McDaniels

They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face,
they said “We’re your brothers
from a far away place.”
The Indians greeted them
with wide open arms,
too simple minded and trusting
to see through the charms.
Ex-hoodlums and jail birds
with backgrounds of crime,
they had a chance to breathe freely
for the very first time,
to drink cool clear water
from clean mountain streams,
when taken for granted it’s not what it seems.
They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face,
they said “We’re your brothers,
from a far away place.”
I know the Indians greeted them
with wide open arms,
too simple minded
to see through the charms.
Slowly but surely
in came the forked the tongue,
to trick those who trusted,
humiliate the young,
they said “Indians are different,
they got to stay in their place,
not pure and holy,
an inferior race.”
They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face
they said “We’re your brothers
from a far away place.”
I know the Indians greeted them
with wide open arms,
too simple minded and trusting
to see through the charms.
In came the religions,
the liquor, and the guns,
they claimed to be good guys,
yeah but they acted like huns,
creating chaos, spreading disease,
as agents of god,
they did damn well what they please.
They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face,
they said “We’re your brothers
from a far away place.”
The Indians greeted them
with wide open arms,
too simple minded
to see through the charms.
Polluting the water.
god damn, defiling the air.
rewriting the standards
of what’s good, and fair
promote law and order
yeah, just let justice go to hell,
if the laws hard to swallow
use the old wishing well.
They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face,
they said “We’re your brothers
from a far away place.”
The Indians greeted them
with wide open arms,
too simple minded
to see through the charms.
Now the suns slowly setting
yes and the Indians are few,
they’ve been murdered and pillaged,
my god, what they’ve been through,
stranded on deserts
where it’s barren and dry,
with bad air and foul water, yeah,
they exist til they die.
They landed at Plymouth
with a smile on their face,
they said “We’re your brothers
from a far away place.”
The Indians greeted them with wide open arms…
(screams of terror…)

This has been another installment of Monday Lab Tracks. Send us your musical recommendations through our contact link at the top of the page, and tell us what you think of the song in the comments below!

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