I have a lot of time to think on my beautiful drives through Maine to our farm.  The other day during this very familiar stretch of road, it dawned on me that what this road trip was missing was a playlist of the best farm songs ever written. So, I made one.

Vote for your favorite farm song and we’ll reveal the winner next week. And when you’re done, turn up the volume and check out the music videos below.

What is the best farm song ever written?
Old MacDonald -Ella Fitgerald or any other artist who sings it
Farmer Labor Train – Woody Guthrie
Maggie’s Farm – Bod Dylan
The Farmer is the Man – Pete Seeger
Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver
The Garden Song – David Mallett
The Farmer’s Almanac – Johnny Cash
Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank – Barenaked Ladies
Tim McGraw – Where the Green Grass Grows
The County – Schooner Fare
Farmhouse – Phish
Poor Old Dirt Farmer – Levon Helm
It Won’t Be Long – Cahalen Morrison and Eli West
The Decemberists – June Hymn
The Frost is All Gone – The Chieftains
Other
Please Specify:

Poll Maker

Let us start with the obvious…

Old MacDonald’s Farm – Ella Fitgerald, 1981 (originally 1917)

Selected farm lyric:

Old MacDonald had a Farm…you know how it goes

Farmer Labor Train – Woody Guthrie, 1944

Selected Farm lyric:

There’s lumberjacks and teamsters and sailors from the sea,
There’s farmin’ boys from Texas and the hills of Tennessee,
There’s miners from Kentucky, there’s fishermen from Maine;
Every worker in the country rides that Farmer-Labor train.

Maggie’s Farm – Bob Dylan, 1965

Selected farm lyric (this isn’t exactly about the farm, but it meets the qualifications and can’t be left off):

I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
No, I aint gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more
Well, I wake up in the morning
Fold my hands and pray for rain
I got a head full of ideas
That are drivin’ me insane
It’s a shame the way she makes me scrub the floor
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

The Farmer is the Man – Pete Seeger, 1966 (orginally written 1880s)

Selected farm lyric:

When the banker says he’s broke, and the merchant’s up in smoke
They forgets that it’s the farmer feeds ’em all
It would put them to the test, if the farmer took a rest
Then they’d know that it’s the farmer feeds ’em all”

Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver, 1974

Selected farm lyric:

Well, life’s on a farm is kinda laid back,
ain’t much an old country boy like me can’t hack.
It’s early to rise, early in the sack thank God I’m a country boy.
Well, a simple kind of life never did me no harm,
raising me a family and working on the farm.
My days are all filled with an easy country charm, thank God I’m a country boy.

The Garden Song – David Mallett, 1975

Selected farm lyric:

“Pulling weeds and picking stones, man is made of dreams and bones.
Feel the need to grow my own ’cause the time is close at hand.
Grain for grain, sun and rain, find my way in nature’s chain,
to my body and my brain to the music from the land.”

The Farmer’s Almanac – Johnny Cash, 1990

Selected farm lyric:

Well, the farmer prayed for a better year
And the crops were good like the Lord did hear
But his barn burned down with winter near
The answer came in white and black
In the farmer’s almanac, it says
“If a man could have half his wishes he could double his trouble””

Straw Hat and Old Dirty Hank – Barenaked Ladies, 1996

Selected farm lyric:

I tend the wheat field that makes your bread
I bind the sweet veal, pluck the hens that make your bed
Mother Nature & Mother Earth
Are two of three women who dictate what I’m worth

Tim McGraw – Where the Green Grass Grows, 1998

Selected farm lyric:

I’m gonna live where the green grass grows
Watchin’ my corn pop up in rows
Every night be tucked in close to you
Raise our kids where the good Lord’s blessed
Point our rocking chairs towards the west
Plant our dreams where the peaceful river flows
Where the green grass grows

The County – Schooner Fare,  1999

In the warm September breeze, I worked the long rich rows upon my knees,
Now those days are in my mind, every time I dream about the Houlton line,
Although that child has grown past those signs of home,
And this life I own is not the same,
All your hills and farms wait with open arms,
Every time I wander home again. 

Farmhouse – Phish, 2000

Selected farm lyric:

I never ever saw the northern lights
I never really heard of cluster flies
Never ever saw the stars so bright
In the farmhouse things will be alright

Poor Old Dirt Farmer – Levon Helm, 2007

Selected farm lyric:

Well the poor old dirt farmer,
He only grows stones.
He grows then on down
Till they big enough to roll.

It Won’t Be Long – Cahalen Morrison and Eli West, 2010

Selected Farm lyric:

“When the fields are muddy, and it ain’t no time to plow,

Won’t be long little brother, it won’t be long.

When the rooster is crowing, and it ain’t no time to rise,

When the preacher is preaching, and it ain’t no time to pray…”

 

 The Decemberists – June Hymn, 2011

Selected farm lyric:

Here’s a hymn to welcome in the day
Heralding a summer’s early sway
And all the bulbs all coming in,
To begin
The thrushes bleating battle with the wrens
Disrupts my reverie again

The Frost is All Gone – The Chieftains, 2012 (song is much older)

Selected farm lyrics:

“What would you do if the kettle boiled over?
What would I do but to fill it again
What would you do if the cows eat the clover?
What would I do but to set it again
The praties are dug and the frost is all over
Katy lie over close to the wall
How would you like to be married to a solider?
Katy lie over close to the wall”