Buffy Sainte-Marie

I decided to take a closer look at the Native American and Canadian folk artist, Buffy Sainte-Marie after reading a recent article about her in the October/November issue of BUST Magazine. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with her music after checking out a copy of The Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie from the library. Favorites include, “He’s a Keeper of the Fire,” “Better to Find Out for Yourself,” “Cod'ine” and a nice cover of Joni Mitchell’s “The Circle Game.”

Buffy Sainte-Marie’s musical career began in the early 1960s and her signature song might very well be the anthem, “Universal Solder” – a song inspired by the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War. (She would later find out that she was blacklisted from radio airwaves because she was so outspoken about the peace movement in the U.S., as well as Native American issues). Later in 1982, Buffy received an Academy Award for her song, “Up Where We Belong”, which was featured in the film An Officer and a Gentleman, and performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes. And her career has not been limited to just music! She has made several television and film appearances, and in 1975, even joined the cast of Sesame Steet. She made television history in one particular episode by breastfeeding her son and explaining it to Big Bird. Buffy Sainte-Marie is also a digital artist and philanthropist, and has operated the non-profit Nihewan Foundation for Native American Education since 1969. What a talented lady!


We saw Buffy perform last year with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. It was awesome. I've been a fan since the sixties. Some of my favorite songs are "Little Wheel Spin and Spin" "Poor Man's Daughter" "Men of the Fields" and "My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying." That last one is perfectly written with every word ringing true. Her new work is pretty good, too, especially "Bad End" and "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" from the CD "Coincidences and Likely Stories." If she comes back to Michigan to perform anytime soon, I'll be there.