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Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)

01 Apr 99 - 10:32 AM (#67301)
Subject: lyrics to the renegade by Ian Tyson
From: jo_kirkpatrick@hotmail.com

I am looking for the lyrics to "The Renegade" by Ian Tyson Please anyone, e mail me if you know them! Thanks


02 Apr 99 - 06:18 AM (#67530)
Subject: RE: lyrics to the renegade by Ian Tyson
From: Ferrara

Hi, Jo, have been looking for the record, it was requested on the Pozo Seco Singers thread also. So far no luck with finding it.

By the way, even if whoever finds it decides to e-mail it to you, they should post it here for two reasons: 1, other people would probably like to have it, and 2, the rest of the Mudcatters will know that they can stop looking for it now.


02 Apr 99 - 01:53 PM (#67617)
Subject: RE: lyrics to the renegade by Ian Tyson
From: lesblank

Do a forum search to show two threads from 4/97.

Subject box = The Renegade Author box (?) = Les Blank (with caps(my old username))

The chorus is there complete with Indian words and phrases.

The rest of the lyrics are on the Ian and Sylvia CD Nashville pressed by Vanguard Recording Co.


24 Apr 08 - 02:47 AM (#2323926)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST,NormanG

I've been looking for the Native words within "The Renegade" since I first got the album around 1970! So excuse me for posting this more than a decade after an earlier poster (Les Blank) made a good stab at the words and meanings. Allow me to comment/update.

First off, it seems that Ian was using Chinook jargon which is not really the language of one particular tribe (though there is a Chinook tribe)but was the lingua franca along the coast in the heyday of early trading. This would have been an odd choice for the renegade to use in addressing his mother (as he does in the first line of the chorus) but what the heck, poetic license forgivable in a truly great song way ahead of its time in a white man's sympathetic rendering of Native struggles!

Okay, so the first word in the chorus is Kla'-How-Ya, a very well known greeting both when meeting and when departing. In this case it would be "farewell mother"

Later on in the chorus, it goes, And I'll hunt my own..." For years I assumed I was hearing "knowledge" and it still sure sounds like that on careful listening. Given that the story takes place during the era of forced residential schooling, that would make sense. But, there is a Chinook word, probably borrowed from the Nuu-Chah-nulth (formerly Nootka) language, "Mah´-witsh" which means deer and that would make fit well.Remember that one of the many infringemnets on Natives was that they were supposedly under the hunting lawsof the white governments (Canadian legal cases have to an extent restored such hunting rights)

The potlatch - which the 1997 poster said was "a campfire or elders meeting" was enormously more than that. It was one of the great events and institutions of life among the coastal tribes. There is a pretty good article on Wikipedia about this event. A key point is that in the 1880s the Canadian government enacted a law forbidding potlatching. Hence, the fires of the potlatch, being all scattered into ashes. The ban stayed on until 1951! Today, potlatching is once again thriving especially among the Kwa'kwa'la speakers of Northern Vancouver Island.

The earlier poster just gave the phonetic pronunciation for the second line of the second verse, "A-se-chi-tama-now is the evil ones remains." He guessed that it might mean "covers the ground". Far more likely the phrase is "masachie tamahnous" which refers to witchcraft or necromancy. Here, this idea of lingering evil meant, no doubt, the evil non-Natives who were taking over the land and eroding the spirit of the Natives.

Of course, it would be best if Ian Tyson could be accessed to confirm what he really wrote - I've tried that numerous times, even meeting him as he left a show in eastern Canada many moons ago but to my query "what were those words" he just gave a wry and good natured smile.


24 Apr 08 - 10:30 PM (#2324930)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: Art Thieme

From something I heard long ago when I spent some years on the Oregon coast. I had read a novel called "TRASK" which went into many of these concepts.--I no longer have it, but it was a good exciting read.---This is what I recall about the nomenclature:

Tamanowis = medicine--as in good medicine or bad. (And for all the medicine the medicine men have made, STILL "the evil ones remain!") This wasn't doing magic in any Harry Potter or Gandalph sense.

potlatch: was several things, but mostly it was a ritual divesting one's self of possessions and giving it all away with a free good will. That would seem crazy to the capitalists that the white people were. So, it was made illegal.

mowitch---is akin to luck with -- a touch of 'good medicine' tossed in. (It can't hurt!)

That's my two cents.

Art Thieme


02 Jun 08 - 02:51 AM (#2354867)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST,Tinsmith

Alki chee tamahnous, (al-kai chi tama naus?) "In times to come the new witchcraft" (THEIR CHURCH) the evil one remains ...


29 Jan 11 - 09:54 AM (#3084647)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST

Mauwitch means "deer" in Jargon. Or Mowitch


30 Jan 11 - 12:15 AM (#3085059)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE RENEGADE (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST

THE RENEGADE
Ian Tyson

Upon the hillside
Policemen were climbing
The ghost called the nightwind
Her fancy to tell
Dark on the slope
Blood drops are drying
Slipped through cold fingers
The whiskey bottle fell

Ha-how-ya mother
I leave you with your whiteman
I curse their church that tells us
That our fathers were wrong
And I'll hunt my own knowledge
And I'll drink my own whiskey
And I'll sing until morning
The old-fashioned song

Fires of the potlatch
Are all scattered in their ashes
Ma-sat-chie-ta-ma now is
The evil ones remain
And our children cannot follow
The old northern ways
And the bones of their fathers
Are rotting in the rain

Ha-how-ya mother
I leave you with your white man
I curse their church that tells us
That our fathers were wrong
And I'll hunt my own knowledge
And I'll drink my own whiskey
And I'll sing until morning
The old-fashioned song

Daylight came late
Over high coastal mountains
The renegade stood watching
With his rifle by his side
And he emptied his gun
Up into the yellow sunrise
And he ran down the hillside
To the place where he died

Ha-how-ya mother
I leave you with your white man
I curse their church that tells us
That our fathers were wrong
And I'll hunt my own knowledge
And I'll drink my own whiskey
And I'll sing until morning
The old-fashioned song





Lyrics provided by http://www.kovideo.net/


07 Jun 11 - 10:50 AM (#3166526)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST,Norman Dale

With greatest respect, the lyrics which the "Guest" poster obtained from kovideo are only approximately correct. A good stab but not official or definitive.Here are the errors, some slight some not so slight:

Chorus:

The chorus does not begin with the meaningless syllables "Ha-How-Ya" but the widely known Chinook greeting (also a farewell) "Kla-how-ya" see www.cayoosh.net/hiyu/.

First Stanza

Kovideo says:

"The ghost called the nightwind
Her fancy to tell.
Dark on the slope
Blood drops are drying

Nashville recording says:

The ghostS CALL the nightwind
THEIR FANTASIES to tell
Dark on the SNOW
WERE the blood drops A-DRYIN

I have always wondered whether snow can actually dry out when sitting on snow but that's a bit picky and the word is definitely "snow, not "slope".



Stanza 2

Kovideo says:

And our children cannot follow
The old northern ways

Comment: the word after "northern" is definite not "ways"; It is a 2 -syllable word which sounds like "newage" (not the music but to rhyme with sewage). I have searched through Chinook dictionaries and found nothing like it so it may well be a word specific to one of the Coastal Native languages (of which there are many). I shall continue to try to connect with Ian Tyson to find out what he thinks he was saying here!


Stanza 2

Kovideo says:

And the BONES of their fathers
Are rotting in the rain

NO. It is the POLES of the fathers referring, of course, to the traditional totem poles which missionaries and then potlatch laws pushed hard to ban. In the temperate rainforest climate, such poles would deteriorate rapidly.

Stanza 3

The only other small error in the Kovideo lyrics is that they miss the word "pale" in the final stanza line that should read, "Up into the PALE yellow sunrise".


07 Jun 11 - 10:53 AM (#3166529)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST

Oops -- in the part about snow, I meant that I wondered whether BLOOD could dry out on snow.


25 Oct 11 - 12:53 AM (#3244324)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Renegade (Ian Tyson)
From: GUEST,ptsitransport

Our children cannot follow
the old nor the new ways