It’s My Way! is the first album by folk singer Buffy Sainte-Marie. Though the album did not chart it proved influential in the folk community. It is most famous for two widely covered folk standards, “Universal Soldier” and “Cod’ine”, as well as “Now That the Buffalo’s Gone”, a lament about the continued confiscation of Indian lands, as evidenced by the building of the Kinzua Dam in about 1964. The cover features a mouthbow, which was to be a trademark of her sound on her first three albums.
Cod’ine was also lyrically altered by Janis Joplin and appears on This is Janis Joplin 1965.
In 2016, It’s My Way! was inducted by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry. (by wikipedia)
This is one of the most scathing topical folk albums ever made. Sainte-Marie sings in an emotional, vibrato-laden voice of war (“The Universal Soldier,” later a hit for Donovan), drugs (“Cod’ine”), sex (“The Incest Song”), and most telling, the mistreatment of Native Americans, of which Sainte-Marie is one (“Now That the Buffalo’s Gone”). Even decades later, the album’s power is moving and disturbing. (by William Ruhlmann)
Buffy is a master of capturing you in and holding you till shes done with you. You just can’t stop listening. Her music is hypnotic. Pure, unselfish, unashamed and poignant. No one sings like her. She’s a jewel that changes the world without the world knowing it’s being redirected by her magic. Believe me, if she wasn’t there all this time, things would be so much worse all over the world. Music is magic and a talent this large is mystically infused into the cosmos which effect us all. Outragious! (Richard S. Lodato)
It’s My Way is both noteworthy for her 1960’s songs illustrating the plight of Native Americans, and as being highly talented innovator of western European folk tradition and one of the first cultural fusion musicians. Often accompanying herself on a bow-harp, at other times with rich instrumental backup, her music is sometimes eerie, always uncompromising. (by JE Farrow)
Buffy Sainte-Marie was blacklisted by Presidents Johnson and Nixon because of the power of her ability to move peoples’ hearts!
Buffy Sainte-Marie in 2018
Buffy Sainte-Marie (vocals, guitar)
Art Davis (bass on 01.)
Patrick Sky (guitar on 09.)
01. Now That The Buffalo’s Gone (Sainte-Marie) 2.51
02. The Old Man’s Lament (Sainte-Marie) 4.02
03. Ananias (Traditional) 2.40
04. Mayoo Sto Hoon (Sainte-Marie) 1.25
05. Cod’ine (Sainte-Marie) 5.07
06. Cripple Creek (Traditional) 1.50
07. The Universal Soldier (Sainte-Marie) 2.20
08. Babe In Arms (Sainte-Marie) 2.35
09. He Lived Alone In Town (Sainte-Marie) 4.42
10. You’re Gonna Need Somebody On Your Bond (Traditional) 2.50
11. The Incest Song (Sainte-Marie) 4.19
12. Eyes Of Amber (Sainte-Marie) 2.21
13. It’s My Way (Sainte-Marie) 3.33
He’s five foot-two, and he’s six feet-four,
He fights with missiles and with spears.
He’s all of thirty-one, and he’s only seventeen,
Been a soldier for a thousand years.
He’a a Catholic, a Hindu, an Atheist, a Jain,
A Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew.
And he knows he shouldn’t kill,
And he knows he always will,
Kill you for me my friend and me for you.
And he’s fighting for Canada,
He’s fighting for France,
He’s fighting for the USA,
And he’s fighting for the Russians,
And he’s fighting for Japan,
And he thinks we’ll put an end to war this way.
And he’s fighting for Democracy,
He’s fighting for the Reds,
He says it’s for the peace of all.
He’s the one who must decide,
Who’s to live and who’s to die,
And he never sees the writing on the wall.
But without him,
How would Hitler have condemned them at Dachau?
Without him Caesar would have stood alone,
He’s the one who gives his body
As a weapon of the war,
And without him all this killing can’t go on.
He’s the Universal Soldier and he really is to blame,
His orders come from far away no more,
They come from here and there and you and me,
And brothers can’t you see,
This is not the way we put the end to war.
Still alive and well: Her website in 2019