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Tuesday, August 16, 2011


words and music by Lloyd Miller (c)(p) 2011
arrangement by Ari Dolegowski, Chris Johnson, Ely Levin, and Lloyd Miller

appears on Strange Dees, Indeed by the Deedle Deedle Dees

She swaddles her  baby
Tucks him in a paddleboard
Climbs into the pirogue
as the wild Missouri roars


Charbonneau lets the tiller go
screams prayers to the sky
baby in one arm, a Momma
saves our supplies

You gave us words, Janey
Tomorrow we climb to the sea
No map and no road
Hungry sick and cold
And so far from home...

Only 33 of us
went all the way and back
Only one
She's the one
baby on her back

Yes, Sacagawea is the same as the person we called "Sacajawea" when I was a kid. Most of the current books and documentaries use this new spelling and pronunciation in a attempt to be truer to how she might have said it herself. In Lewis and Clark's journals they spell her name many different ways -- her language was all verbal so English speakers like them could only approximate how words were spelled. Sacagawea is the current politically correct way to spell her name -- this will probably change by the time the album actually comes out.

At a party years ago, a friend of Anand Mukherjee (AKA Innocent Dee who founded the band with me) told me that we should write a song called "Sacajawea, Sock It To 'Em!" (she used the old pronunciation). I tried for a while but just couldn't come up with anything that wasn't stupid.

But then during the recording of this album I saw some footage of Queen at Live Aid. I realized -- I'm not saying this in jest -- all that ROCK can truly be. I attempted to write a Queen song about Sacagawea. It's not up to the level of what Freddie Mercury was doing during that concert -- and certainly not all that rock can truly be -- but we like it. We perform this song and feel sort of like Freddie and that's not such a bad feeling.

Janey = William Clark's pet name for Sacagawea. This song is sung from his imagined point of view.

Who does what on Sacagawea (Sock It To 'Em!)
Booker Dee (Chris Johnson): piano, electric bass, vocals
Moby Dee (Ari Dolegowski): electric guitar, vocals
Otto von Dee (Ely Levin): drums, vocals
Ulysses S. Dee (Lloyd Miller): lead vocals
Dean Jones: recording, mixing