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Farming and Music

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One More Round

See music player for recording of this song

for I pull up to the wheat field, itís harvest time once more
Whatís more bountiful than harvest songs, Iíve heard Ďem all before
But natureís voice and engine noise, are spinning out the sound
So I add my voice to the din, one more round

There are patches on the patches of this combine that I drive
Itís duct taping and curses that are keeping it alive
I swear that Iíll be sitting on it, until it rusts into the ground
I hope that it can make it for one more round

If Iíve ever been more itchy, Iím not sure how Iíd tell
Because the dust behind that combineís blowiní straight outta hell
And harvest songs canít tell you how it feels on your neck
I guess Iím here to tell you that...it feels like heck

Some men dream of wealth or fame, some dream of Paris France
Some men dream of dancing girls in frilly underpants
Iím dreaming of the shower, Iíll just stand there until I drown
Hope that I can make it for one more round

The markets are diving down again, itís really quite insane
How my life follows the day traders and their computer games
And other folks are making more because the price is down
And toasting their good fortunes with one more round

Iím sitting out here thinking Ďbout what keeps me on this mud
Is my life what I imagine it, or is it in my blood

ĎCause my father farmed before I did, his father too
And his, and his and his and his, I guess itís what we do
It isnít such a simple thing to go moving into town
Iíll be the last man in my line, one more round

Each round ends where it started in this combine that I drive
Itís like the cycles of the seasons, and the weather and our lives
Generations spinning down through time without a sound
Glad that you could join me for, one more, one more round


Underneath the Snow

(In memory of Don Giffen)

This ground is so damned hard
Youíd think that I would know
That the frost was creepiní in
Underneath the snow

It hardly rained all summer
In the fall it wouldnít stop
I couldnít get the plowing done
I barely got the crop

The tractorís pulled up in the shed
The last place that I drove
And I am stretched out on the couch
Behind the kitchen stove
What else should I do?

Harvest left this farm in a mess
Thereís a rut in every row
But itís smoother than a wedding dress
Underneath the snow

Spring will be here soon enough
When winter sets her free
Another year, another crop
Another pot of tea

In the shadow of the fencerow
Where the snow has drifted through
The wind has carved an ocean
In a dozen shades of blue
What else should it do?

Every season has its turn
Thatís just the way things go
And not everything will be coming up
From underneath the snow

Lay Your Fences Down

This song is dedicated to my dad and to all the horses that he worked with growing up on the farm that his grandfather cleared. Itís taken from a few of his many stories of these powerful, gentle creatures that he obviously loved.

(For Harold Hickling)

Not so very long ago it used to really snow around here
Youíd park your car until the spring and wait for it to clear
Because the roads were drifted in and the banks would climb
You could take the phone line in your teeth if you were so inclined
Theyíd pull the steeples from the posts and lay the fences down
Hook the horses to the sleigh and head it into town
Breaking trail out across the fields ... working like a charm
Gliding through the neighbours place, goiní farm to farm

When my dad was just a kid he could work like any man
One day he took the team to town, he was headed home again
It was clear and cold and the stars were out, the snow was fast and deep
Heíd made it half way up Kiddís hill, when he fell asleep
...and the horses took him home

The years have slipped by since those days of harnesses and teams
The horses that have worked these farms have faded into dreams
But take some time to think of them, there are lessons to be found
Trust a little in the ride and lay your fences down
Trust a little in the ride...and lay your fences down

(Dedicated to and thinking of - Frank & Fan, King & Queen, Bess & Topsy, Fred & Ted, Frank & Minnie, Tom, June, Pat, Cyclone & Maude)

Scattered Seed

See music player for recording of this song

When the snow melts and the earth warms, thereís planting soon to do
Thereís a scent as old as springtime, and a pull that feels brand new
You first knew it, where Iím standing, 200 years ago
When you coaxed this farm out of the forest, tree by tree, stone by stone

In the fencerow thereís a white pine stump with greying fingers
pointing to the land
And beneath it, its rich organic traces leave a painting in the sand

You walked each acre of each field in the hoof prints of your team
Earned your rest along the fencerow, drew your water from the stream
Saved some seed from every harvest, sowed by the phases of the moon
Now I sit up in a tractor and I work it all by noon

In the furrow thereís a horseshoe that was thrown there
and gently worked on in
The hoof beat rhythm and the heavy breathing echoes
like a song played to the wind

Clear a path, but you can never truly know where it will lead
Scatter seed, but does the earth the sun or the rain,
say which will grow...
Or lie fallow

I donít know why you left your homeland,
I donít know why you left your wife
I donít know what it was that gave you colour in your life
I donít know if you ever wondered where it all leads, too
I just know you loved the soil, Ďcause I feel it too.


Rain  Makes  Things  Grow

For forty days and forty nights, the heavens would not part
All the crops were shriveled up, it was drier than a popcorn fart
I switched on the local news, looking for relief
The weather girlís weather word was just beyond belief
She said itís a fabulous forecast, not a cloud in sight
She didnít tell us to bring our umbrellas, the futureís looking bright

I donít know if I can explain it, but I think that she should know
Rain Makes Things Grow

Then the radio was singing songs, about a love gone bad
There were raindrops and teardrops falling down, to make you feel sad
And then he went out walking in it, just to wallow in his pain
But I donít see one good reason to go picking on the rain
Hey Buddy, rainís a good thing, itís growing your next meal
And just for future reference, we donít care how you feel

Donít cry when it precipitates, even if your tears donít show
Cause Rain Makes Things Grow

Iím gonna take it slowly, forgive me as I try
Cause I know that I get cranky, whenever it gets dry
All that food that youíre eating, doesnít come from the store
There isnít a magic portal, in the middle of aisle four
It comes from earth, it comes from rain, on farms across this land
And itís a little bit more important than working on your tan

And you can use a tanning bed, you can use it till you glow
Rain Makes Things Grow

No wait donít tell me, I know what youíre going to say
All you farmers are whiners, and what if it rains too much...eh?
Well thatís a good point...uhmm...letís see
Oh yeah, ...bite me

So while youíre busy reaping, everything we sow
Remember, Rain Makes Things Grow


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