The Ballad Of Ira Hayes

Lyrics Shared By: Jennifer

Carter Sisters and Johnny Cash:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinking Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Johnny:
Gather round me people, there's a story I would tell
About a brave young Indian that we should remember well
From the tribe of the Pima Indian
A proud and peaceful band
Who farmed the Phoenix valley in Arizona land

Down the ditches for a thousand years
The water grew Ira's peoples' crops
'Til the white man stole the water rights
And the sparkling water stopped

Now Ira's folks were hungry
And their land grew crops of weeds
But when war came, Ira volunteered
And forgot the white man's greed


Carter Sisters and Johnny:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinking Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war


Johnny:
There they battled up Iwo Jima's hill,
Two hundred and fifty men
But only twenty-seven lived
To fight back down again

And when that fight was over
And when Old Glory raised
Among the men to held it high
Was the Indian, Ira Hayes

Carter Sisters and Johnny:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinking Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war


Johnny:
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 crops, no chance
At home nobody cared what Ira had done
And when did the Indians dance

Then Ira started drinking hard
Jail was often his home
There they'd let him raise the flag and lower it
Like you'd throw a dog a bone

He died drunk early one morning
Alone in the land he fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely ditch
Was a grave for Ira Hayes

Carter Sisters and Johnny:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinking Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war

Johnny:
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

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