BALLAD OF IRA HAYES


gather round me people • there's a story I would tell
bout a brave young Indian you should remember well
from the land of the Pima indians • a proud and noble band
who farmed the Phoenix Valley in Arizona land

down their ditches for a thousand years the waters grew Ira's people's crops 
till the white man stole their water right and their sparkling water stopped
now Ira's folks grew hungry and their land grew crops of weeds 
when war came Ira volunteered and forgot the white man's greed

well they battled up Iwo Jima Hill • two hundred and fifty men 
but only 27 lived to walk back down again 
and when the fight was over and old glory raised 
among the men who helt it high was the indian Ira Hayes

Ira Hayes returned a hero • celebrated through the land 
he was wined and speeched and honored • everybody shook his hand 
but he was just a Pima indian • no water no home no chance 
at home nobody cared what Ira's done and when did the indians dance

then Ira started drinking hard • jail was often his home
they let him raise the flag and lower it like you would throw a dog a bone 
he died drunk early one morning alone in the land he'd fought to save 
two inches of water in a lonely ditch was the grave for Ira Hayes

call him drunken Ira Hayes he won't answer anymore
not the whiskey drinking Indian nor the marine that went to war

yeah call him drunken Ira Hayes but his land is just as dry 
and his ghost is laying thirsty in the ditch where Ira died

                                                        peter lafarge