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“The Ballad of Ira Hayes” was written by folk singer Peter La Farge. It tells the story of Ira Hayes, one of the five Marines and one Navy Corpsman who raised the flag on Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II. The song has been recorded many times; the most popular version is by Johnny Cash. Patrick Sky covered it on his self-titled 1965 debut album (and later for a 1985 album). Bob Dylan followed suit by covering the song during his sessions for Self Portrait, though his version did not see release until Columbia used it as part of the Dylan album of 1973. Townes Van Zandt also covered this song during a rare television appearance.
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