Discussion: Down on the Farm

farmSongs about the family farm are a dying breed, with wide open spaces now making way for sprawling suburbia. This shift in society is gracefully handled in Trisha Yearwood’s “Dreaming Fields,” (“And the houses they grow like weeds in a flowerbed,” she says.) and a piece of our heritage is slowly slipping away. The listening audience of country music is more multi-dimensional than ever before, and many country music fans have never experienced the rural life that’s described in many of country’s classics.

What’s your favorite country song about the farming life?


  1. Tulare Dust – Merle Haggard

    I’ve had similar thoughts as those expresses in the post. My grandmother grew up on a dairy farm, but I only know about that way of life through her. I wonder sometimes if my grandchildren will even know what a dairy farm is?

  2. Mine would probably have to be “Dreaming Fields” probably because it’s one of the few to not put others down if they don’t live on a farm.

    Other song mentions:
    Down On The Farm by Tim McGraw – yeah it’s just bubblegum country but it’s catchy.
    Strawberry Wine by Deanna Carter – who wouldn’t want to find love working on a farm after this hit radio.

    On a non-music note, I have grown up next to farms my whole life and while I have never been a farmer, lots of my family and neighbours have so it’s sad to see so much land being used to put up houses, luckily for me our road is still gravel and dirt, and I am covered by wheat fields.

  3. I’ll say “Farmer’s Blues” by Marty Stuart and Hag, though “Tulare Dust” and “Broken Plow” (both already mentioned) are also favorites.

  4. I grew up in a rural area. I miis it and the people. I relate to the songs that speak of that lifestyle and it being taken away. Chris Knight, “This House and 90 Acres”

    Though by no means country, any discussion of the rural lifestyle disappearing and the ways that happens is not complete without Mellecamp’s “Rain on the Scarecrow

    “The Dreaming Fields”, never heard it before, that is a sad song.

    This site has, and continues to broaden my horizons, musical and otherwise, thanks folks.

  5. I’ll probably get skewered for this, but I would say “Back Home Again” and “Thank God I’m A Country Boy”, by a man who did indeed grow up rurally, the late John Denver.

  6. Definitely “Dreaming Fields”…

    Amarillo Sky is another good one.

    Farmland being developed angers me greatly… therefore “Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm” is a good one too. (Montgomery Gentry)

  7. Being a farm girl and fighting the madness that is urban sprawl, while working 18 hour days/7 days a week when were in season, while still trying to live the life of a normal 21 yr old, I’d have to say these songs make my heart swell with pride and remember why I do what I do to keep my family’s heritage alive:

    1. Amarillo Sky – Jason Aldean
    2. Tulare Dust – The Hag
    3. Dreaming Fields – Trisha Yearwood
    4. High Cotton – Alabama
    5. The American Dream – Garth (it’s short, sweet and to the point. When I see the sunrise from the cab of my tractor, I start singing the lines of this song in my head)

  8. Add me to the “Amarillo Sky” list…

    Also Alabama’s High Cotton and Song of the South.

    And on a lighter note, Sara Evan’s “Born To Fly”…The signature song of this real farm girl.

  9. I do agree with the posters who cited “Amarillo Sky” and “Song of the South” but the first one that comes to mind (and my favorite) is “Bidding America Goodbye” from Tanya Tucker’s What Do I Do With Me album (1991).

  10. I very rarely delurk but here goes.

    This is from a city girl born and bred, but I can put myself right there when I listen to these songs. They are so visual to me.

    The Dreaming Fields – Trisha Yearwood
    Wolves – Garth Brooks
    Cloud of Dust – Brad Paisley – from his first CD Who Needs Pictures?

    I also like Montgomery Gentry’s “Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm” which has the same “we’re gonna hang on for dear life because this is what we do” message that’s in “Cloud of Dust”, but with a lot less subtlety.

  11. I have to say at first, I didn’t pay much attention to this song, even though it’s brilliantly played and sung, but now that you’ve added a face to the lyrics, I must say it was certainly heart-tugging. :) Thanks for a fresh pair of ears/eyes on this one.

  12. I enjoy the comedic approach to farm songs. Particularly, I can’t help but sing along to Craig Morgan’s “International Harvester” every time I hear it. It hits on many true points that I can’t help but laugh at. Its not the deepest song, but a light-hearted view on things.

    It’s been said a few times, but Jason Aldean’s “Amarillo Sky” is a great song as well

  13. Way too many pop-county songs listed. Pop-country (Hollywood fake-folk music) is ironically part of the death of real country – life and music.

    Here’s one that comes to mind:

    Woody Guthrie: “Pastures Of Plenty”

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