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Cherokee Pride
Copyright 1999 Jorie West

Ignorance called her half breed and it filled her soul with pain

Hateful words chilled the blood pumping fear through tiny veins

She always kept her head bowed down, afraid to show her face

While Cherokee Pride slipped away and misery took its place

Defenseless in her innocence, to young to understand

That Creator God shaped each of us with an impartial hand

Determined in her heart that someday shed be treated right

She bundled up her heritage and clothed herself in white

Tsalagi, donadagohvi

I admit I don't know why but if I stay I fear I'll die

Woe! I'm afraid and alone

I don't know where I'm goin and I may never see my home again

She hid within their culture, found acceptance in their world

And grew into a woman with no resemblance to the girl

With a mother's heart she vowed to save her children from her fate

And taught them to avoid the snares of prejudice and hate

She said, "Don't let them know you're different always try to fit right in.

Tell them where you're goin, Don't tell them where you've been"

Tryin hard to please her, I learned her lessons well

Though I knew deep in my heart there was so much more to tell

Cherokee, burning in me

Hidden in my heart but the truth will set you free

Oh, where should I go?

Can't be sure where I'll find you, but my heart will lead me home again

The rhythm of my heart in that moment spoke to me

Though clothed in mamas hand-me-downs my heart beat Cherokee

I opened mama's bundle with reverence and in awe

of the wonder of her heritage and the beauty that I saw

So many hidden treasures, I'm finding more and more each day

Through the history and the language of our people and their way

My precious mother never knew, until the day she died

Security comes from deep within along with Cherokee Pride

Cherokee Pride demands respect for the varied ways of man

To honor the Great Spirit and creation of His hand

We are blessed by the heritage he breathes into each soul

We are not just half or part, Tsisa made us whole

Cherokee, proud to be free

Imprisoned for so long but I still could hear your song

Calling me, Tsalagi

With faith steadfast and strong, I know where I belong, Cherokee

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