Australian singles chart:
Don Fardon’s version entered the Kent charts on 5 October 1968 and peaked at #4. It was #27 on the Top 100 of 1968.
The Raiders’ version entered the Kent charts on 16 August 1971 and peaked at #25.
John D Loudermilk
Don Fardon version: Miki Dallon
Raiders version: Mark Lindsay
Record labels of Australian releases:
Don Fardon version: Astor
Raiders version: CBS
The song was written by John D. Loudermilk and was first recorded by Marvin Rainwater in 1959 and released as The Pale Faced Indian, but that release went unnoticed.
The lyrics vary somewhat among the recorded versions. Rainwater’s version lacks the “Cherokee people!” chorus, but includes instead a series of “Hiya hiya ho!” chants. Fardon’s version is similar to the Raiders’ through the first verse and chorus, but differs after that.
Read more: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Reservation_(The_Lament_of_the_Cherokee_Reservation_Indian)
The song is about the plight of the Cherokee Indians who, in 1791, were displaced from their home in Georgia to a reservation in Oklahoma. Raiders frontman Mark Lindsay, whose ancestry was part Indian, thought that this would be a good song to record.
A country singer named Marvin Rainwater recorded an early version of this song called The Pale Faced Indian in 1959. Rainwater, who was part Cherokee, incorporated chanting into it.
The first hit version of this song was recorded in 1968 by a British singer named Don Fardon. Raiders used more keyboards and modern production elements in their 1971 rendition.
Read more: www.songfacts.com/facts/raiders/indian-reservation-the-lament-of-the-cherokee-reservation-indian
The Raiders’ version is also on our Spotify playlist Bang a Gong – the 70s.
Find more songs to enjoy: Bang a Gong song finder
New to Bang a Gong? Click HERE to learn more about us.