The Ballad Of Ira Hayes

Cash Johnny

A              D
Ira Hayes, Ira Hayes

R: Call him drunken Ira Hayes
   he won`t answer anymore
   not the whiskey drinkin` Indian
   nor the Marine that went to war

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 Indian
   a proud and noble band
   who farmed the Phoenix valley
   in Arizona land

2. Down the ditches for a thousand years
   the water grew Ira`s peoples crops
   till the white man stole the water rights
   and the sparklin water stopped
   Now Ira`s folks were hungry
   and their land grew crops of weeds
   When war came, Ira volunteered
   and forgot the white man`s greed

R: Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

3. There they battled up Iwo Jima`s hill,
   Two hundred and fifty men
   but only twenty-seven lived
   to walk back down again
   And when the fight was over
   and when Old Glory raised
   among the men who held it high
   was the Indian, Ira Hayes

R: Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

4. Ira 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`d done
   and when did the Indians dance

R: Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

5. Then Ira started drinkin` hard;
   jail was often his home
   they`d let him raise the flag and lower it
   like you`d throw a dog a bone!
   He died drunk one mornin`
   alone in the land he fought to save
   two inches of water in a lonely
   ditch was a grave for Ira Hayes

R: Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

6. Yeah, call him drunken Ira Hayes
   but his land is just as dry
   and his ghost is lyin` thirsty
   in the ditch where Ira died