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Origins: The Farmer Is the Man

DigiTrad:
THE FARMER IS THE MAN


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Farmer Feeds Them All (Midi -melody line only- made from notation in The Century of Song, vol. II, comp. Adam Geibal (Philadelphia, 1897))


nutty 09 Sep 01 - 05:46 AM
Fiolar 09 Sep 01 - 07:32 AM
wysiwyg 09 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM
masato sakurai 09 Sep 01 - 09:56 AM
Stewie 09 Sep 01 - 10:24 AM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM
GUEST,katie@cherryvalley.com 12 Oct 04 - 03:26 PM
masato sakurai 13 Oct 04 - 08:14 AM
GUEST,Wesley S at Home 13 Oct 04 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,denise :^) --cookieless at work! 13 Oct 04 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,MurkeyChris 14 Oct 04 - 05:24 PM
Splott Man 15 Oct 04 - 07:39 AM
GUEST,Larry L. Stout 26 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM
Malcolm Douglas 26 Sep 05 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Cathy Statz 28 Oct 09 - 12:50 PM
IanC 28 Oct 09 - 01:06 PM
meself 28 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM
doc.tom 28 Oct 09 - 01:21 PM
doc.tom 28 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM
GUEST,Cathy Statz 19 Oct 10 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,Babypix 19 Oct 10 - 11:13 PM
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Subject: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: nutty
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 05:46 AM

Last night at the Folk Club someone sang the Farmer is the Man with the introduction that it was a Woody Guthrie song

I have been searching the web this morning but can't find any evidence that Guthrie wrote this song ... although I have no doubt that he sang it

I would appreciate some help ....THANX


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: Fiolar
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 07:32 AM

It is a Great Plains folksong dating from the Populist Movement of the 1890s when it first appeared in the "Farmers Alliance" songbook. Hope that helps.


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: wysiwyg
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 08:21 AM

I believe Ry Cooder has recorded it.

~S~


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 09:56 AM

The Traditional Ballad Index says:

Farmer Is the Man, The

DESCRIPTION: A description of the life of the farmer, "the man who feeds them all." He comes to town "with his wagon broken down" and "lives on credit till the fall." At last he comes to town with his crop -- and loses the profit to the bank
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1924 (recording, Fiddlin' John Carson)
KEYWORDS: farming work poverty commerce money
FOUND IN: US(MW)
REFERENCES (11 citations):
Randolph 492, "The Farmer, He Must Feed Them All" (1 text)
Sandburg, pp. 282-283, "The Farmer" (1 text, 1 tune)
Scott-BoA, pp. 267-269, "The Farmer is the Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 66, "The Farmer is the Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-AmFolklr, pp. 879-880, "The Farmer Comes to Town" (1 text, 1 tune)
Arnett, pp. 120-121, "The Farmer Is the Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Darling-NAS, pp. 360-361, "The Farmer Is the Man" (1 text)
PSeeger-AFB, p. 57, "The Farmer Is The Man" (1 text, 1 tune)
Greenway-AFP, p. 213, "The Farmer Is the Man" (1 text)
Silber-FSWB, p. 118, "The Farmer Is The Man" (1 text)
DT, FARMERIS*

Roud #5062
RECORDINGS:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "The Farmer Is The Man That Feeds Them" (Okeh 40071, 1924)
Frank Wheeler & Monroe Lamb, "The Farmer Feeds Them All" (Victor 23537, 1931; Montgomery Ward M-4334, 1933)
Pete Seeger, "The Farmer is the Man" (on PeteSeeger13) (on PeteSeeger23)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "Down on the Farm (III)" (theme)
cf. "The Humble Farmer" (theme)
SAME TUNE:
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Us All" (Montgomery Ward M-4848, 1935)
New Lost City Ramblers, "Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Us All" (on NLCR09)
Notes: Although there is no firm authorship information, this song is thought to date from the populist movement of the 1890s. - (PJS)
Sounds logical to me. Greenway, however, dates it to the period after the Civil War. - RBW
"Taxes on the Farmer Feeds Us All" is a variant form of "Farmer is the Man"; the message and words are close enough that I have lumped them as one song. - PJS
File: San282

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Masato


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: Stewie
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 10:24 AM

Since Fiddlin' John Carson recorded it in 1923, the earliest date in the Traditional Ballad Index is wrong. Gene Wiggins, Carson's biographer, says the song appears to be a 19th century outgrowth of the Grange Movement. The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry, formed in 1867, was a network of local organisations, employing cooperative practices and advocating 'granger' laws. The movement petered out in the late 1870s.

In 1934, the song was revised by Fiddlin' John to fit Gene Talmadges's ideas about too much taxation and too much welfare and became 'Taxes on the farmer feeds them all'.

--Stewie.


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Subject: ADD: The Farmer Feeds Us All (Knowles Shaw)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Sep 01 - 11:12 AM

Earliest dates at the Traditional Ballad Index are just the earliest known at the time of compiling, and are intended as a rough guide only.


THE FARMER FEEDS US ALL
(Words and Music by Knowles Shaw, 1834-1878)

You may talk of all the nobles of the earth,
Of the kings who hold the nations in their thrall,
Yet in this we all agree, if we only look and see,
That the farmer is the man that feeds us all.

Then take him by the hand,
All ye people of the land,
Stand by him whatever troubles may befall;
We may say whate'er we can,
Yet the farmer is the man,
Yes, the farmer is the man that feeds us all.


There's the President who occupies the chair
Of the nation in the mighty Congress hall,
And the members, too, are great, who are sent from ev'ry State,
But the farmer is the man that feeds them all.

There are Governors and legislators, too,
Who have pledg'd themselves to heed the peoples' call,
Yet it seems they all agree, and can raise each member's fee,
While the farmer is the man that feeds them all.

There are speculators all about, you know,
Who are sure to help each other roll the ball,
As the people they can fleece, and then take so much apiece,
While the farmer is the man that feeds them all.

Then the preacher who can preach his sermons long,
And the lawyer and the doctor -servants, all;
There's the tailor and the smith, and I tell you 'tis no myth,
That the farmer is the man that feeds them all.

Now the Patrons true, are coming to the fight,
And their armies, too, are not the weak and small,
So, God bless them, while we sing, that the farmer is the King,
For the farmer is the man that feeds us all.

From the rising to the setting of the sun,
Great monopolies are surely doomed to fall,
Then onward in the fight, and we'll battle for the right,
While the farmer is the man that feeds us all.


From The Century of Song, vol. II, comp. Adam Geibal (Philadelphia, 1897).  Knowles Shaw was born on October 13, 1834 in Butler County, Ohio, and wrote a number of hymns and Sunday School song books.  He became known as "The Singing Evangelist"; he also wrote Bringing in the Sheaves.  An edition of The Farmer Feeds Us All, arranged by Thomas à Becket Jr., appeared in 1874, so the song dates from at least then.


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: GUEST,katie@cherryvalley.com
Date: 12 Oct 04 - 03:26 PM

look in the 19th century Patrons of Husbandry Songbooks - or Grange Melodies from 1911 and you will see the Knowles Shaw version of The Farmer Feeds Us All. Probaby sung with great gusto at Grange meetings across the US.


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: masato sakurai
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 08:14 AM

"The Farmer Is The Man That Feeds Them All" : Fiddlin' John Carson is at Honkingduck.


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: GUEST,Wesley S at Home
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 04:58 PM

I just picked up a new CD by Don Edwards - a cowboy singer from Texas. It's called "Last Of The Troubadours". It contains version of the song called "The Rancher Feeds Us All". I havn't had a chance to compare the lyrics side by side but my memory tells me there were very few changes made to "westernize" this song. He lists the author as Trad.
This is a great CD by the way. If you've even thought you might be interested in cowboy music this would be a great place to start. Thirty two songs - twenty of them trad. On four of the songs he's assisted by Norman and Nancy Blake. The rest of them are just Don and his guitar. Highly recommended.


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Subject: RE: HELP-origin of THE FARMER IS THE MAN?
From: GUEST,denise :^) --cookieless at work!
Date: 13 Oct 04 - 05:27 PM

I had that song on a Pete Seeger album of "Folksongs for Children" (Folkways -- 1950's? 60's?)

I bought it from an educational catalog, when I first started teaching kindergarten (1984). Yep, we still had *albums* back then.

I know Smithsonian has taken over Folkways; wonder if this recording is still available?

denise :^)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: GUEST,MurkeyChris
Date: 14 Oct 04 - 05:24 PM

Julie Murphy has rewritten this song as 'The Farmer (A Love Song)' on her stunning album, 'Black Mountains Revisited' (Beautiful Jo). It's great. (he he this sounds like a poorly concealed plug, but I'm just a fan!)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: Splott Man
Date: 15 Oct 04 - 07:39 AM

Funnily enough I sang it last night at a Resonator gig. My source was Ry Cooder, but I know Dave Burland also used to do it.

It's a song that's been changed and adapted many times over the years to suit the changing (or not) fortunes of farmers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: GUEST,Larry L. Stout
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 03:28 PM

Knowles Shaw, the writer of "The Farm is the Man that Feeds Us All," grew up and preached his first sermon in our church, Big Flatrock Christian, Rushville, Indiana, before going on to world fame as "The Singing Evangelist". Several years ago I located the sheet music of this song without the chorus. Then I came across this site and found the chorus as well as the words. Reference is made that they were found in "The Century of Song," Vol. II, comp. Adam Geibal (Philadelphia 1897). I lucked out and found Vol. 1 & II on eBay and purchased them. I was disappointed today when they arrived and this song was not in either book. And these are the original books in great condition but worthless to me without this song included. What gives?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 26 Sep 05 - 04:43 PM

What gives, I'm afraid, is that I mis-read the title page when I posted the words four years ago. The printers had evidently used the volume II block, adding an extra "I" to re-use it for volume III. It was out of line with the "II", though, and I think I must have taken it at the time for a printing glitch. I haven't seen the other two volumes.

Although I'm sure you'll grow to appreciate the other two volumes in time (and it's always wisest to check contents listings with ebay sellers before committing, to be on the safe side), I can appreciate your disappointment. If you'd like to send me your email address, I'll happily send you scans of the two pages concerned.

I can be reached at webmaster@folk-network.com


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: GUEST,Cathy Statz
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 12:50 PM

You might be interested to know that this song (or a version of it) is still sung at Farmers Union (www.nfu.org) meetings around the country, especially at our summer camp programs which teach kids about the values of family farm agriculture, rural sustainability and cooperative endeavors.


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: IanC
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 01:06 PM

It would be interesting to look at the parallels between this song and the English traditional song The Painful Plough.

:-)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: meself
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 01:11 PM

"around the country"

Always nice to know which country ... ?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 01:18 PM

Gee, meself. You should know- THE country is meant!


(Ducking the swinging cricket bats)


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: doc.tom
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 01:21 PM

And even more interesting to look at the paralels with The Three Alls (or The Five Alls, or The Seven Alls). Pub names from the same sentiment. 3-alls recorded by George Dunn a four hundred-year old rhyme with a music-hall tune?


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: doc.tom
Date: 28 Oct 09 - 01:37 PM

Damn it! - can't spell "parallels"


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: GUEST,Cathy Statz
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:02 PM

Revised message: You might be interested to know that this song (or a version of it) is still sung at Farmers Union (www.nfu.org) meetings around the United States, especially at our summer camp programs which teach kids about the values of family farm agriculture, rural sustainability and cooperative endeavors.
(forgive me for not stating *which* country earlier; most prior postings were to US references, so I was simply following suit).


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Subject: RE: Origins: The Farmer Is the Man
From: GUEST,Babypix
Date: 19 Oct 10 - 11:13 PM

Great, informative thread, Gentle Colleagues. Mudcat at its best.

Bravo!

Deborah


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