Ballad of Ira Hayes
by Peter LaFarge                                                                                                                     Townes van Zandt

                 E                                   A
Call him drunken Ira Hayes, He won't answer anymore;
               B7                                       A                      E
Not the whiskey drinkin' indian, not the marine that went to war.

           E                                            A
Come gather 'round me, people, there's a story I would tell

            B7                                A                   E      
About a brave young Indian, you should remember well;

Frome 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 aparkling weater rushed

Till the white man stole their water rights and their sparklin' water hushed

Now Ira's folks were 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 fity men,

But only twenty-seven lived - to walk back down again;

When the fight was over - and Old Glory raised,

Among the men who held it high was the Indian - Ira Hayes.

Ira Hayes returned a hero, -celebrated throughout the land,

He was wined and speeched and honored, -everybody shook his hand;

But he was just a Pima Indian, --no water, no crops, no chance;

And back home nobody cared what Ira don - and went to the Indians dance?

Then Ira started drinin' hard - jail was often his home;

They let him raise the flag and lower it, like you 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.

Yeah call him drunken Ira Hayes - but his land is still as dry,

And his ghost is lying thirsty in the ditch where Ira died.

Chorus: Call him drunken Ira Hayes, He won't answer anymore;

Not the whiskey drinin' Indian, Nor the marine that went to war.

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