CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,

HE WON`T ANSWER ANY MORE;

NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN` INDIAN,

NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.


[verse 1]:

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.


[verse 2]:

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.


[Chorus]:

CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,

HE WON`T ANSWER ANY MORE;

NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN` INDIAN,

NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.


[verse 3]:

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.


[Chorus]:

CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,

HE WON`T ANSWER ANY MORE;

NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN` INDIAN,

NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.


[verse 4]:

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 HAD DONE -

AND WHEN DO THE INDIANS DANCE?


[Chorus]:

CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,

HE WON`T ANSWER ANY MORE;

NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN` INDIAN,

NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.


[verse 5]:

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.


[Chorus]:

CALL HIM DRUNKEN IRA HAYES,

HE WON`T ANSWER ANY MORE;

NOT THE WHISKEY DRINKIN` INDIAN,

NOT THE MARINE WHO WENT TO WAR.


[verse 6]:

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.



Lyrics submitted by SongMeanings, edited by sokorny

"The Ballad of Ira Hayes" as written by Peter Lafarge

Lyrics © CARLIN AMERICA INC

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The Ballad of Ira Hayes (Peter La Farge cover) song meanings
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