I thought the Song of the Lazy Farmer only appeared in farm papers during the late 1940s and early ’50s, but apparently he was writing a decade or so earlier as a couple of his offerings from 1930 and 1931 just turned up in my collection.
First, in the American Agriculturist from May 17, 1930 is this ode to the old boy’s favorite cat.
Today I told Mirandy that I can’t see no use in a cat.
They’re always somewhere under foot, and when you put them out they scoot
Between your feet, already then they’re back inside the house again.
I’m busy for an hour, about, before I get that cat put out;
My patience all is gone afore I git that cat outside the door.
Then that old cat sits there and mews, you’d think in winter she would choose
To go out to the barn and stay, but that cat never hits the hay.
She’s allus figgerin’ some scheme to get her whiskers in the cream;
She comes around at milkin’ time, the milk she steals is sure a crime.
She gits her head into the pail, and if a cow steps on her tail,
She claws that cow until, by gee, the old cow climbs all over me.
When winter days have gone from hence that old cat’s husband climbs the fence
And serenades me in the night, he seems to take a great delight
In yowling there at half past one until I shoot him with my gun.
Next night he’s back as big as life, out there a-quarrelin’ with his wife;
I’ve shot that cat and tied a brick to him and dropped him in the crick,
I’ve taken him 10 miles away, but he was back again next day.
He’s got so much of life and vim that I can’t make away with him,
So all my life I reckon that I’ll have to put up with that cat!
Then, from the June 20, 1931 issue of the same paper, comes this commentary on alfalfa hay as a crop.
Of all them other crops of his, my neighbor says alfalfa is
The best that grows from out the soil, it pays him better for his toil
Than any other crop that grows, he says there ain’t a cow but knows
Alfalfa hay is what she needs, she can’t make milk from straw and weeds.
Alfalfa hay is good for kine, it puts the finish on the swine,
It makes the chickens lay more eggs, the horses all kick up their legs
And prance about when they are fed alfalfa ere they go to bed.
With good alfalfa in the mow he makes a profit from each cow,
Good green alfalfa, full of leaves makes farmin’ pay, so he believes.
I tried it once, and then I quit, because there wan’t no end to it.
I’d hardly start to plowin’ corn before the buddin’ shoots would warn
Me that there must be no delay, I’d have to start to makin’ hay.
And so I’d work away and sweat for ev’ry ton of hay I’d get.
I’d hardly git it put up when that blamed alfalfa’d grown again.
The second crop must be put by the hottest weather in July,
Another crop or two in fall I’d have to pitch, and that ain’t all,
All winter long I’d have to sit and milk my cows, from out each tit
I’d have to milk a pail or two, that’s what alfalfa made ’em do.
I git the backache to this day when I think of alfalfa hay!
In that last ditty, it seems the Lazy Farmer was using humor to instruct his readers about the advantages of feeding alfalfa.
I have some more and I’ll post them in the future.