The time was set before the realm,
Nevertheless no one but we showed up.
But all the rest were too terrified
Of what they thought might come afterward.
The heavens were already bursting with electricity
As lightning flashed all around me.
The drums started their beat,
As the Medicine Man I started to dance,
Now the ghost dance had begun.
Around and around the circle
We would dance for the past.
Dancing for the return of the buffalo
When they roamed freely.
Dancing for the return of the great chiefs
And the brave warriors who would come back
To us to show us the way and save us
From our present and coming future.
The beginning of a new era of peace,
For that we ghost danced throughout the nights.
We continued our dance going across the plains
With our hopes of a return to our society,
The society that we all had known before.
The soldiers came one day and said no more,
No more dance, for you scare everyone.
We were on our own land,
We had hurt no one, we kept to ourselves.
Just four days after the King of Peace’s Birthday
In that mourning of 1890,
They took their Hotchkiss guns and shot us down,
To make sure that we dance no more.
Chief Big Foot was one of the first to die,
Already dying with tuberculosis.
There was no mercy, no kindness,
Neither for the women or children.
Now they are no more.
They lay spread across the bloodstained snow.
They have now gone to their ancestral home
Just like the great ones that have gone on before.
So now, please, just lay my lifeless body down
With my people in the mass grave
Here at Wounded Knee.
The Army awarded twenty Medals of Honor, its highest award, for the action.
Almost all of the troops on the battlefield were victims of friendly fire from their own Hotchkiss guns.