HAZEL DICKENS


The Ballad Of Ira Hayes Lyrics

CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
HE WON'T ANSWER ANY MORE;
NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN' INDIAN,
NOT THE MARINE WHO 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 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 RIGHTS -
AND THEIR SPARKLIN' 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.

:
CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
HE WON'T ANSWER ANY MORE;
NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN' INDIAN,
NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.

:
WELL, THEY BATTLE 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 INDIAN IRA HAYES.

:
CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
HE WON'T ANSWER ANY MORE;
NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN' INDIAN,
NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.

:
IRA HAYES RETURNED A HERO,
CELEBRATED THROUGH THE LAND,
HE WAS WINED AND SPEECHED AND HONORED,
EVERYBODY SHAND;
BUT HE WAS JUST A PIMA INDIAN,
NO WATER, NO HOME, NO CHANCE;
AT HOME NOBODY CARED WHAT IRA HAD DONE -
AND WHEN DO THE INDIANS DANCE?

:
CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
HE WON'T ANSWER ANY MORE;
NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN' INDIAN,
NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.

:
THEN 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.

:
CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
HE WON'T ANSWER ANY MORE;
NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN' INDIAN,
NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.

:
YEAH! CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,
BUT HIS LAND IS JUST AS DRY,
AND THE GHOST IS LYING THIRSTY
IN THE DITCH WHERE IRA DIED.

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Songwriter(s): P. la Farge
Publisher(s): Edward B Marks Music Company
Record Label(s): 1999 Rounder
Official lyrics by

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