“Feathered Indians” by Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers is a folk singer from a part of Kentucky known as Lawrence County. With a discography dating back to 2011, he has released five studio albums to date. The most recent, 2022’s “Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven”, marks the highest he’s ever reached on the Billboard 200, in peaking number 8. 

However, his best-selling LP to date was the second of the lot, “Purgatory”, which Hickman Holler Records made public on 4 August 2017. And it is from that effort that we get “Feathered Indians”, the second track on the album’s playlist, which was not issued as a single but has garnered notable critical praise. And for the record Childers wrote this song himself, with its producers are Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson.

Feathered Indians

The Lyrics of “Feathered Indians”

This is a song that we can most simply classify as a love song. Tyler Childers is a musician whose music, at times, possesses a comedic slant. And relatedly, what has been ascertained is that the “feathered Indians” of the title are actually a reference to the nature of his belt buckle, being in the design of the logo for Red Man chewing tobacco brand, which is the image of a Native American wearing a traditional feathered headdress. 

The reason his belt buckle in a love song is apparently to point to act such as dry humping, i.e. Tyler cuddling his sweetheart so hard and intimately that said buckle left “impressions on the inside of her thigh”.

But there’s more to the narrative than that. For example, the reason they appear to be humping as opposed to having sex outright is because this lady is the religious type. Furthermore, it’s as if this is Tyler’s first interaction with her. But as made evident he is thoroughly smitten, even if said smittenness may be more along the lines of infatuation. 

And in keeping within the “Indian” motif the singer also gives a shoutout to Natural American Spirit, a brand of cigarette that utilizes a similar image (as the one mentioned above) for its logo. But the woman being who she is proceeds to question his smoking habit also.

“Hold me close my dear
Sing your whispering song
Softly in my ear
And I will sing along
Honey tell me how your love runs true
And how I can always count on you
To be there when the bullets fly
I’d run across the river just to hold you tonight”

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