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THE BALLAD OF IRA HAYES
(Peter La Farge)

Call him drunken Ira Hayes, He won't answer any more;
Not the whisky drinkin' Indian, not the marine that went to war.

Gather 'round me people, there's a story I would tell
About a brave young Indian, you should remember well;
From the land of the Pima Indianns, 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 rights and their sparkling water stopped.
Now Ira's folks grew hungry and their land grew crops and 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 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 through the land,
He was wined and speeched and honoured, everybody shook his hand;
But he was just a Pima Indian, no water, no home, no chance
At home nobody cared what Ira done - And when do the Indians dance?

The Ira started drinkin' hard - jail was often his home;
They let him raise the flag and lower it, as 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.

Yeah call him druken Ira Hayes, but his land is just as dry,
and the ghost is lying thirsty in the ditch where Ira died.

CHORUS: Call him drunken Ira Hayes, He won't answer any more;
Not the whisky drinkin' Indian, not the marine that went to war.

Copyright Peter LaFarge
@Amerind @political @war
filename[ IRAHAYES
KO

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