Monday, March 7, 2011

Warren Haynes & The Dave Matthews' Band: Cortez The Killer

A few weeks ago before I got the flu, Greg Rector requested a song for a Monday cover tune – Warren Haynes with the Neil Young LP cut “Cortez the Killer.” I can’t tell you when I first heard Haynes with “Government Mule.” It may have been on late night TV or at a performance of Mountain Stage Radio Show.

Haynes, who is performing here with the Dave Matthews Band, is known for his participation in the jam band scene where he has performed as a member of Government Mule, the Dicky Betts Band, the Allman Brothers Band, and as a special guest of the Dave Matthews’ Band and the Grateful Dead.

Neil Young & Crazy Horse’s Original

From Neil & Crazy Horse’s 1975 release of “Zuma,” here’s the original version of “Cortez the Killer.”


He came dancing across the water
With his galleons and guns
Looking for the new world
In that palace in the sun.

On the shore lay Montezuma
With his coca leaves and pearls
In his halls he often wondered
With the secrets of the worlds.

And his subjects
gathered 'round him
Like the leaves around a tree
In their clothes of many colors
For the angry gods to see.

And the women all were beautiful
And the men stood
straight and strong
They offered life in sacrifice
So that others could go on.

Hate was just a legend
And war was never known
The people worked together
And they lifted many stones.

They carried them
to the flatlands
And they died along the way
But they built up
with their bare hands
What we still can't do today.

And I know she's living there
And she loves me to this day
I still can't remember when
Or how I lost my way.

He came dancing across the water
Cortez, Cortez
What a killer.

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