First recorded (as “The Pale Faced Indian”) by Marvin Rainwater (1959).
Hit versions by Don Fardon (US #20/UK #3 1968), The Raiders (US #1 1970), 999 (UK #51 1981).
Also recorded (as “National Reservation”) by Laibach (1994).
From the wiki: “‘Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)’ was written by John D. Loudermilk, and first recorded in 1959 by Marvin Rainwater. Released as ‘The Pale Faced Indian’, Rainwater’s release stayed unnoticed.
“The song refers to the forcible removal and relocation of Five Civilized Tribes, including the Cherokee people, from the southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, Mississippi and Alabama to the southern Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. The removal of these tribes throughout the 1830s is often referred to as the ‘Trail of Tears’. The removal of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole came on the heels of President Andrew Jackson’s key legislation, Indian Removal Act of 1830.
“The first hit version was a 1968 cover by Don Fardon, a former member of The Sorrows, that reached #20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and #3 on the UK Singles Chart.
“In 1971, The Raiders (formerly Paul Revere & The Raiders) recorded the song. This recording went on to become a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in July 1971.
“The UK punk band, 999, released a cover version in November 1981 that reached #51 in the UK chart. The song is also covered as ‘National Reservation’ by the Slovenian band Laibach on their 1994 album NATO, replacing ‘Cherokee’ in several places with ‘Eastern’, in the context of the end of the Cold War (and thus changing the context of ‘we’re still a redman deep inside’ to that of Communism).
“The lyrics vary somewhat among the recorded versions. Rainwater’s version omits 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 in the second verse. At the end of the song, where the Raiders sing ‘…Cherokee nation will return’, Fardon says ‘Cherokee Indian…’. In addition, Fardon sings the line: ‘no more tepees anymore’, not used in the Raiders’ version.”
Don Fardon, “Indian Reservation” (1968):
The Raiders, “Indian Reservation” (1971):
999, “Indian Reservation” (1981):
Laibach, “National Reservation” (1994):