"Indian Sunset", a lyric poem by Bernie Taupin, involves a rich and poignant portrait of an American Indian who has found himself face to face with his own extinction, and so, left with no choices, engages in a battle which he knows will bring certain death, and yet spare his dignity. Taupin begins his remarkably vivid account by placing the reader in the shoes of the warrior, who awakens ready to continue fighting a long and tedious war in order to preserve the only way of life he has ever known, only to find out that his warlord is dying, and the war is lost. The warrior however, is unwilling to stand back and accept defeat as he relates in the words "And now you ask that I should watch the red man's race be slowly crushed! What kind of words are those to hear... ." . This seems to be the turning point in the tale where the warrior finds himself without a leader, a home, or a future. Surrender is not an option for him, as the enemy has already shown that they take no prisoners in the slaying of the surrendering Geronimo.
He yearns to join his ancestors in heaven, where "the red sun sinks in the hills of gol and the healing waters run", and yet, at the same time he does not want to lose face by surrendering. And so he decides to string his bow and prepare for battle, in which he would not only have saved face, but dies a hero trying to save his race from extinction.