Songs About Struggling Farmers

Before anyone asks, this playlist has nothing to do with events in my personal life. My farm is doing just fine, mostly because it only exists in my head; it’s conveniently insulated from all the very serious challenges facing independent farms in the real world. As always, you’re welcome to make your own additions in the Comments section. If you’d like to give some of the pertinent lyrics too, that’d be great.

  • Amarillo Sky – Jason Aldean
    He says, “Lord I never complain, I never ask why,
    But please don’t let my dreams run dry
    Underneath, underneath this Amarillo sky”

  • Amber Waves of Grain – Merle Haggard
    Can’t we save a bit of foreign aid for the farmer over here?
    Or the amber waves of grain may disappear
  • Broken Plow – Chris Knight
    Take you one last look around, shed you one last tear
    For the broken plow, the broken dreams, and the life we’re leaving here
  • Cafe on the Corner – Sawyer Brown
    They say crime don’t pay, but neither does farming these days
    And the coffee is cold and he’s fifty years old
    And he’s got to learn to live some other way
  • Cloud of Dust – Brad Paisley
    He’s holding his ground, but it’s getting tough
    He’s keeping his faith in the Lord up above
    Praying for rain through a cloud of dust
  • Country Ain’t Country – Travis Tritt
    The back forty was sold to make up for hard times
    Then sold by the half-acre lot overnight
  • Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm – Montgomery Gentry
    He’s gonna live and die
    In the eye of an urban storm
    Daddy won’t sell the farm
  • Don’t Sell the Farm – Junior Brown
    After all these years of trying to make a go
    This farming life is all we love, and it’s all we know
  • Farmer’s Blues – Marty Stuart with Merle Haggard
    I work the land, I watch the sky
    I talk to God and wonder why
    But it’s the only life I know
    These farmer’s blues
  • House and 90 Acres – Chris Knight
    But I’ve watched my tools and my tractor leave in someone else’s hands
    I grit my teeth and I let ’em go, but I won’t give up my land
  • In My Next Life – Merle Haggard
    The muscles in his arms, just like his run-down farm
    Soon withered up and slowly disappeared
  • Song of the South – Alabama
    Well, mama got sick and daddy got down
    The county got the farm and they moved to town
  • The Rain Came Down – Steve Earle
    So don’t you come around here with your auctioneer man
    Cuz you can have the machines but you ain’t takin’ my land

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Comments

  1. David Jones says

    Trisha Yearwood, “The Dreaming Fields”:
    “Seems the only way a man can live off the land these days/Is to buy and sell”

    George Strait, “Give Me More Time”:
    A banker and a farmer discuss the bottom line
    It ain’t rained and all the crops are dying vine
    Give me more time
    You gotta give me more time.
    That farm has been in my family going on a hundred years
    We pulled through hard times before with blood, sweat and tears
    Give me more time
    I need more time.

  2. Brody says

    Glad to here your farm is doing fine. As for the music, the only one that comes to mind right now is “All That You Need” by Joe Ely.

    I been workin on the farm, just me and my brother Jack
    Choppin a sea of cotton till I thought I’d break my back
    Everything changed when my daddy got hurt
    Our lives were so connected to that brown ol’ flatland dirt

  3. Blake Boldt says

    Matraca Berg and Gary Harrison wrote an absolute masterpiece in “Dreaming Fields.” As a farmer’s kid, that song really hits home.

  4. J.R. Journey says

    hmmm … in ‘Strawberry Wine’ she sings ‘the fields have grown over now/been years since they’ve seen the plow’ … does that count?

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