Breeds of Misery: Lost love, cross-border romance, colonial mythology

Best/Worst Lines: "At night I wake up cold and lonely, bustin' at the seams. She haunts the early morning hours of December dreams. My Guadalupe, with big brown eyes, I wanna break the spell tonight."

In the grand colonial tradition of "Cherokee Maiden," "Squaws Along the Yukon," and "Hey Muchachita," this cautionary tale of a white man's star-crossed courtship with a native, brown-eyed little girl does not end well. Also like those songs, listening to this one always makes me a little uncomfortable. In listening to - and yes, enjoying - these songs, even ironically, am I complicit in a type of colonial superiority complex? I tend to alleviate this discomfort by reminding myself that I'm just four generations removed from this type of relationship between a white man and a Chickamauga woman, which by all accounts from my Arkansas folks was a long, happy marriage. Ah, well.

AuthorJohn Proctor