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Old 05-13-2006, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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The Story Behind The Song

Songs written about specific people, places, moments in history...anything so long as it's interesting.

The more background information, the better...insights, little known facts etc.

Why was it written?

What was it about?
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Old 05-13-2006, 03:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Written by Peter Lafarge, and recorded by Johnny Cash on 3/5/64, "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" reached #3 on the country charts.

Ira Hayes was a Pima Indian, who joined the U.S.Marines, for two reasons. One, to be able to send money home to provide for his family, and two, to get off the Pima Indian Reservation in Sacator, Arizona.

While serving in the Marines, Ira was in the South Pacific. On February 23, 1945, Ira jumped in to help out 5 other Marines in the task they were performing, and ended up becoming part of one of the most famous photographs in American history, taken by Joe Rosenthal:








Ira is the one all the way in the back. His hands aren't touching the flagpole.


Well, of the six men who raised the flag, three never left Iwo Jima.

Franklin Sousley was killed March 21, 1945, by a Japanese sniper. He was 19 years old.

Harlon Blockwas killed in combat on March 1, 1945. He was 20 years old.

Michael Strankwas also killed in combat on March 1, 1945. He was 25 years old.


Of the three who made it off Iwo Jima alive:

All three were part of Bond Drive 7, (I think that's what it was called), and toured the U.S. , making apprearances.

Rene Gagnon died 21 years later, at the age of 53, bitter about his lack of fame. He was the only one of the six men to actually trya nd cash in on his accidental fame, having parts in two war movies after WWII had ended.


John Bradley, who's son wrote "Flags of our Fathers" (which I have read), was the only one of the remaining three, to live well into old age, passing away on January 11, 1994, of a stroke.


Ira Hayes battled alcoholism, and struggled with the attention he recieved. died on January 24, 1955. He was found in a ditch, not far from an abandoned hut, where he reportedly played cards and drank the night before. The coroner's report concluded he died from exposure and too much alcohol.




Ira Hayes' Life




*on a side note, it's pretty tough to see all six men, sohere is a colorized photo, with each person's name assigned a different color.


The Ballad of Ira Hayes

Ira Hayes,
Ira Hayes
CHORUS:
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
CHORUS:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war
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
CHORUS:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war
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
CHORUS:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war
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
CHORUS:
Call him drunken Ira Hayes
He won't answer anymore
Not the whiskey drinkin' Indian
Nor the Marine that went to war
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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Old 05-13-2006, 03:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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jr. ^ That was perfect.

Exactly what I was hoping this thread could be.

Who knows their stuff?...
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Could some please do Eric Claptons Layla? I don't know the story but I'm really interested in it.
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Layla a.k.a. Patti Boyd.
Name:  george04.bmp
Views: 8430
Size:  307.7 KB
A muse to Harrison and Clapton.
Harrison wrote "Something" about her, among other songs; Clapton wrote the fiery "Layla" (its title inspired by an Iranian tale of obsessive love, similar to Romeo and Juliet) about her, and later "Wonderful Tonight."

She's modest about being the subject of so many well-known songs.
"All I can say is I feel deeply flattered and honored. ... I don't know what else to say. I guess I'm really lucky."

Being a song subject can be a double-edged sword. Her marriage to Harrison, which developed fissures early on, ended in divorce in 1977; Clapton's romantic pain over Boyd pushed him deeper into drug addiction. (Though he later got clean, alcoholism dogged his and Boyd's 1979-88 marriage.)

The 1970 "Layla" album, considered Clapton's greatest by most critics is a 75-minute tale of wrenching emotion, complete with a cover of Billy Myles' "Have You Ever Loved a Woman," a song about being in love with your best friend's wife.


Layla - Eric Clapton.

What'll you do when you get lonely
And nobody's waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long.
You know it's just your foolish pride.

Layla, you've got me on my knees.
Layla, I'm begging, darling please.
Layla, darling won't you ease my worried mind.

I tried to give you consolation
When your old man had let you down.
Like a fool, I fell in love with you,
Turned my whole world upside down.

Chorus

Let's make the best of the situation
Before I finally go insane.
Please don't say we'll never find a way
And tell me all my love's in vain.

Chorus

Chorus
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Old 05-13-2006, 04:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you right-track that was really good. I liked the lyrics to that song so thats what made me wonder. Nice work!
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Old 05-13-2006, 05:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkaba
Thank you right-track that was really good. I liked the lyrics to that song so thats what made me wonder. Nice work!
Hehe...it was cut and pasted. I do know the facts here, but I'm a lazy boy.

Little known fact.
The piano part at the end was by the drummer and was originally recorded as a separate project,
however, they decided to put it at the end of Layla.
Another little known fact, the drummer who wrote the piano part went crazy, claiming he heard voices in his head, especially the voice of his mother... he later killed her with a hammer and died in prison.
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Old 05-13-2006, 06:23 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merkaba
Thank you right-track that was really good. I liked the lyrics to that song so thats what made me wonder. Nice work!
i have the album, i can send it to you Mekaba
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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wish i could help you out there buddy, but i can't think of anything....cept maybe for american pie, but that song's been disected into infinity...
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I`m trying to think of one
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