1970s1980sCountry MusicFolk MusicMusicMusic ConcertsPop Music

Music – 1979 – Johnny Cash + Hank Williams Jr Duet – Kaw-Liga

“Kaw-Liga” is a country music song written by Hank Williams and Fred Rose.  The song tells the story of a wooden Indian, Kaw-Liga, who falls in love with an “Indian maid over in the antique store” but does not tell her so, being, as the lyrics say:

Too stubborn to ever show a sign,

Because his heart was made of knotty pine.

The Indian maid waits for Kaw-Liga to signal his affection for her….but he either refuses or is physically/emotionally unable to talk….while being the ever stoical Native American of the popular stereotype.  Because of his stubbornness, Kaw-Liga’s love continues to be unrequited, with Hank Williams, the narrator/singer of the song lamenting,

Poor ol Kaw-liga, he never got a kiss,

Poor ol Kaw-liga, he don’t know what he missed,

Is it any wonder that his face is red?

Kaw-liga, that poor ol’ wooden head.

The song ends with the Indian maid being bought and taken away from the antique store by a buyer, leaving Kaw-Liga alone, and he

…stands thar

As lonely as can be,

And wishes he was still an ole’ pine tree.

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