The Ballad of Ira Hayes
Peter La Farge - rec. by Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Kinky Friedman, Townes Van Zandt

Come and gather ‘round me people and a story I’d like to tell
About a brave young Indian that you should remember well
From the tribe of Peema Indians, a proud and a peaceful band
That farmed the Phoenix valley down in Arizona land

Down are ditches, for 10.000 years the sparklin’ water rushed
Till the White man stole the water rights and the runnin’ waters hushed
Now Ira’s folks were hungry, on their farms grew crops of weed
But when the war came he volunteered and forgot the White man’s greed

   Call him drunken Ira Hayes, he won’t answer anymore
   Not the whiskey drinking Indian or the marine who went to war

They started up at Peema hill, 250 men
And only 27 lived to walk back down that hill again
When the fight was over an ol’ Gloria raised
One of the men who’s hold high was the Indian Ira Hayes

Now Ira returned a hero, celebrated throughout the land
He was wined and speeched in honor, ev’rybody shook his hand
But he was just a Peema Indian, no money, no crops, no chance
And at whole nobody cared what Ira’d done and when did the Indians dance

Then Ira started drinking hard and jail was often his home
The living raised the flag there and lowered it like a dog a bone
He died drunkenly one morning alone in a land he’d fought to save
Two inches of water in a lonely was the grave for Ira Hayes

  Yes, call him drunken Ira Hayes but his land is still as dry
  And his ghost is living thirsty in the ditch where Ira died