Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Peter La Farge (1931-1965) is probably best known for his song "The Ballad of Ira Hayes," about the Pima Indian marine who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima and who ended his life as an alcoholic drowned in a ditch.  La Farge, the son of Pulizer Prize winnning author Oliver La Farge, inherited a strong sympathy for the American Indian from his father.  Despite medical problems that threatened to take his hearing, La Farge learned to play the guitar from Josh White when he was a teen and became a fairly popular folk singer, working with White, Big Bill Broonzy, and Cisco Houston.  Houston became a mentor to the young La Farge.  La Farge wrote the words to the song "As Long as the Grass Shall Grow" to music written by Bob Dylan.  He released five albums during his short lifetime.  He specialized in cowboy songs, songs about indians, and love songs.  He most likely died of an overdose or, perhaps, a stroke.  His New York neighbor Liam Clancy once said that La Farge had commited suicide by slashing his wrists but there is little evidence to support that claim.  Whatever the cause, a great career was cut terribly short with his death.

"The Ballad of Ira Hayes":

"Iron Mountain" :

"The Crimson Parson":

"White Girl":

"Marijuana Blues":

"Don't Tell Me How I Looked Falling":

"Coyote, My Little Brother," a powerful environmental song, sung by Pete Seeger:

"Johnny Half-Breed":


"The Cowboy's Lament:":

"As Long as the Grass Shall Grow," sung by Johnny Cash:

"I Ride an Old Paint":

"Look Again to the Wind":

"Strawberry Roan":

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