Most of my relatives are Iowa farmers. As a young teen, I spent several summers working on my grampa's farm - which was actually run by Uncle Paul and his sons (my cousins).
My grampa, Eben, worked that farm every day of his 92 years.
The last few years, he was nearly blind, but you could not have gotten him off that tractor.
He plowed and cultivated fields knowing when to turn from memory...
This is his story and the story of what happened the most of the family farms. I wrote this song 35 years ago. Before recording it recently, I rewrote a few lines and turned what had been the 3rd verse into a bridge (rearranging things and cutting it in half).
I hope you enjoy it. EBEN
did you forget to lock the barn door again
the herefords have wondered back into the yard
has the 1024 been repaired, have you fixed the bailer
when will you admit that this life has grown too hard
the combine and the diesel have rusted with the years
and been discarded in a field that's overgrown
a lifetime of dreams, blood, sweat and tears
on the line with every seed you've thrown
eben, you're no longer young
don't take on the fields today
pulling on his working boots, he says
"you can take an interest,
but don't take my life away
please don't take my life away"
the silage should have been cut a week ago before it dried
you won't get the oats in before they fall
the ad for the hired man just won't be answered
the rewards for an honest day's work has grown too small
your brothers to the south of you,
the neighbors to the north
found the land just won't support them anymore
so they sold out to the big man, the mass production farm
but eben's on his way to do the chores
old friends gone to the earth that they lived for
the few that have survived have moved to town
but eben's out revving up that old john deere
no sign of ever slowing down
Here are the RealTracks:
RealDrums in style: NashvilleSkip^01-a:SideStick, HiHat , b:Snare, Ride
RealTracks in style: ~520:Bass, Electric, Pop HalfNotes Ev 165
RealTracks in song: 378:Guitar, Acoustic, Strumming DoubleTime Ev 088
RealTracks in song: ~407:Guitar, Acoustic, Fingerpicking Ev 165
RealTracks in song: ~589:Banjo, Bluegrass Doc Ev 100 (Rhythm)
RealTracks in song: 377:Guitar, Resonator, Background Trav Ev 088
RealTracks in song: ~615:Harmonica, Background HeeHaw Sw 165
As always... comments encouraged.