Sunday, October 19, 2014

Kris Kristofferson Performs "The Ballad of Ira Hayes"

A cover revisited on Look Again to the Wind: Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears Revisited.
    Call him drunken Ira Hayes
    He won't answer anymore
    Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
    Nor the Marine that 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 Indian, a proud and noble band
    Who farmed the Phoenix valley in Arizona land

    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

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...
    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

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    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

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    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

    Call him drunken Ira Hayes...

    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

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