Ryan Gonzales sings "Cherokee Rose"
 Lyrics and Melody by Janis contway

THE CHEROKEE ROSE

A flower grows
Where wind songs blow
From April through July
Its roots grow deep
Its branches strong
its blossoms kiss the butterfly

It’s golden center shines like sun
its petals pearly white
Peacefully it lights the day
And quietly it dreams at night

The rose, the rose
The Cherokee rose
In footprints of Cherokees
A rose still grows
From seeds that fell
Along the trail
The trail where they cried

In the mounts
where the flowers grow
Our people there survived
We grew there In harmony
Like the rose we grew and thrived

But then came men
With hungry hearts
And evil greedy ways
With lying words
They took the land
To find the gold, the gold they craved

The rose, the rose
The Cherokee rose
In footprints of Cherokees
A rose still grows
From seeds that fell
Along the trail

The trail where
they forced our people
To walk the trail, the trail where they cried
But still there was the beauty
The beauty of the rose
The beauty of the rose
The beauty of the rose

The rose, the Cherokee rose
In footprints of Cherokees
A rose still grows
From seeds that fell
Along the trail
The trail where they cried

A symbol of the Cherokee spirit

As the Cherokees near the end of their journey at Indian Territory, the fatigue of the thousand mile trek leads to more illness and death, especially among the very young.  

Mothers are overwhelmed by grief at the death of their children and when elders pray for a sign to give the mothers strength, they tell the story of the wild Cherokee Rose whose seeds fall from heaven into the footprints of the Cherokees along the trail.  The seeds are watered by the tears of mothers and their roots grow deep even the most barren soil.  The rose grows strong and blooms in beauty. 

The blossom is white to represent the purity of mothers.  It's golden center represents the gold found on Cherokee land, and its seven petals represent the seven Cherokee clans. 

Still today, the Cherokee rose grows wild in the footprints of Cherokees all along the Trail of Tears from Georgia to Oklahoma.  

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