“It’s sort of a new venture into the Native American story in the United States," says Corrigan. "Having grown up in Colorado, I was surrounded by Native American history. In the airport, you can find shops devoted to Native American artisans – everywhere you look, you see so much history and symbolism.
“I’d never been on a reservation until last year, and the experience of walking on that soil and meeting a lot of folks, families and kids – I saw a lot of beauty and a lot of tragedy. There’s so much for us to learn about and engage in so that we can give the next generation of Native American kids a life, as opposed to being stuck on a reservation. It’s amazing how we’ve pushed them into a corner so that we don’t have to see them.
“The song itself is based on the Sand Creek Massacre, which took place in Eastern Colorado in the late 1860s. It was a very tragic event where 250 people were killed, mostly women, children and the elderly. They were huddling under an American flag and a white surrender flag, and they were told that they would be safe, at all costs. It’s just a disgusting, tragic story, and it really hits home for me.
“On the musical side, it was really fun to record. I wanted the song to feel like [Led Zeppelin’s] The Battle Of Evermore or Going To California – mandolin, banjo, acoustic guitar, just a haunting landscape for the telling of the story. I used an instrument called a chrarango, which is an Argentinian mandolin. It’s got eight strings, but it’s four notes – double-string octaves. There’s a real energy and tension in the song.”