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Number 122

Buffy Sainte-Marie - Soldier Blue (RCA2081 - 1971)

As a 13 year old schoolboy, the hot topics of the day would usually centre around the movies some of the older looking boys and girls managed to get into the theatres and see, and wearing those triumphs very much on their sleeves in the school playground the next day. One day it would be Candy, the next day Straw Dogs or A Clockwork Orange. Some of these X-rated films became stuff of legend, usually for either its sexual content or its violence. One such film was Soldier Blue, the American Revisionist Western directed by Ralph Nelson and starring Candice Bergen, Peter Strauss, and Donald Pleasence, which was inspired by events of the 1864 Sand Creek massacre in the Colorado Territory. Up to this point, Western heroes had been typically portrayed by John Wayne or Clint Eastwood, cowboy heroes, whilst the noisy Indians galloped around collecting scalps. Almost overnight I became aware of the plight of the Native American and that we had actually been sold down the river. Buffy Sainte-Marie wrote and performed the theme song to the film, a moving performance with a strong message. The American establishment declared the film anti-American and therefore the film and the song sank without a trace, however the Canadian singer managed to have a top ten hit with the song in the UK.