Song on the WindAn original musical describing the convergence of the English and Native cultures and the relationships that formed between them during the first 50 years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Before the Europeans settled in New England there was a legend among the Natives living along the Atlantic coast that they had heard a captivating “Song on the Wind”. The mere melody brought them a joy beyond telling and a hunger to know the meaning of the words. One day they would hear the song again.
“Song on the Wind” is an original musical describing the convergence of the English and Native cultures and the relationships that formed between them during the first 50 years of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. It is a story of love and betrayal, sacrifice and courage, shared hopes and dreams that transcend racial and cultural differences. It is the story of two social experiments, the Puritan ‘city on a hill’ and the Indian ‘Praying Villages’, and the war that put all to the test.
This captivating story uncovers a little-known bit of history detailing the forging and testing of relationships between the indigenous inhabitants of Musketaquid and English settlers John Eliot, Peter Bulkeley, Daniel Gookin, John Hoar and many more … This pioneer community became both the first inland English settlement above tide-water and the first township in the New World to be named after neither British nor Native custom, but after an ideal of harmonious concord. In time, these two vastly different peoples formed a mutual covenant based on their shared faith and hope in their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This unique community came to be known as Concord Massachusetts.
Checkout this very interesting document of early American history linked below. Daniel Gookin’s original letter to England, “An Historical Account of the Doings and Sufferings of the Christian Indians in New England”, upon which much of the musical “Song on the Wind” is based.
“A story held mute too long” is how Caring Hands, a descendant and sachem of today’s Natick Praying Indians, described the musical that tells the story of her tribe’s heroism and suffering that came to a climax during the King Philip War of 1675.
This musical, written by David MacAdam, in cooperation with the Praying Indians, is the result of years of research of both English and First People histories and theatrically unravels a riveting account of both the friendships and animosities among the inhabitants of New England with music that reflects the “two different streams of melody that form the native harmony” and the “changes in the land”.
In 2004 the first full production was mounted and premiered at the new theater at the Littleton High School in Littleton, Massachusetts; the site of the original Native American Praying Village, Nashoba.
Music from “Song on the Wind” has been performed in Times Square in New York (Project Dance) and before thousands at Boston’s City Hall Plaza. In 2008 a shortened adaptation was presented at a national association of pastors conference in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Most recently it was restaged in Septemeber 2010 in celebration of Concord Massachusetts’ 375th Anniversary.
1. Musketequid- although the popularized spelling and pronunciation is often ‘Musketaquid’, prior to 1835 all documents record the spelling with an ‘e’ rather than an ‘a’ which gives us a hint as to how it was heard by the English. The name is believed to refer to the place ‘where the river flows through the meadow grass’.