"American Ghost Dance" as written by Cliff Martinez, Michael Peter Balzary and Anthony Kiedis....
Oh give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
And the death of a race is a game
Where seldom is heard

A peaceable word
From the white trash
Who killed as they came
Though these words dig deep
They offer no relief
God save the queen
I am an Indian chief

There is a secret I keep
It's called the talking leaf
And you better believe
That he speaks his beliefs
Like a rock that bleeds
A sea of grief

My talking leaf speaks of
A wounded knee creek
American ghost dance
A new man who is with old ways
He walks the streets of life

But he's in chains
I'm alive he cried
I can feel the flame
Burning red inside
I am an Indian brave
There is a memory

That lives in my blood
Of the brand you laid
On all you touched
But the burning flame
Turns to burning pain
Genuine genocide

And that's truly insane
So like a wild hurricane
I will dance on the grave
Of my race that died
When it should have been saved
American ghost dance


Lyrics submitted by PrismPuck

"American Ghost Dance" as written by Anthony Kiedis Michael Peter Balzary

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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American Ghost Dance song meanings
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18 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentThis song and Vonnegut's novel are both vague references to The Ghost Dance, a Native American spiritual movement based on the belief that the Earth would open up to swallow all whites and to revert back to its natural state so that the Native Americans, along with their ancestors, could live in peace. It was claimed that by dancing the round-dance continuously, the dream would become a reality.
    boisvert0on October 07, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentGhost dance is what the indians used to do to scare the invaders.
    I think I heard that in U.S History class.
    311rhcpon March 01, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWell its kinda obvious what this song is about. Its about how when whites came to america they destroyed peaceful indian tribes without reason.
    Dread Girlon May 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentvery true. the theme seems to be a recurring one throughout the red hots career (thinking of "johnny kick a hole in the sky" especially)
    moe2000on June 05, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentConsidering anthony has native american roots this song is very personal.
    Bldsgrsxmgon June 19, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentDon't want to disagree with anyone...
    There's a book by Kurt Vonnegut jr called Player Piano that deals with a US in which people have no function and bring back the Ghost Shirt idea to fight a revolution. I don't know the song but having read the lyrics and knowing the topic, i figured that I had to connect it to something for pepole.
    apettythiefon October 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentso im not crazy if i thought the whole album was sort of like that
    i love JFon December 21, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNative Americans really are the greatest......

    It's about the last of the great race of Natives, and they look toward the ghost dance for revival.
    JosephWolfon January 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNative Americans really are the greatest......

    It's about the last of the great race of Natives, and they look toward the ghost dance for revival.
    JosephWolfon January 09, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commentbeautiful song
    melrfazon January 27, 2005   Link

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