The Ohio Farmer, a paper published twice a month by Capper-Harman-Slocum, Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, contained a feature called The Song of the Lazy Farmer. The author of this on-going feature, which appeared in many farm papers during the late 1940s and early ’50s, was never identified.
From the December 4, 1948, issue comes this loving tribute to his long-suffering wife, Miranda:
Mirandy’s life is pretty tough, she never does have time enough
To catch up on the work she’s got; she keeps that broom of hers red hot,
The floors get swept four times a day and in between she works away
At scrubbin’ down the basement stairs or dustin’ all the front room chairs.
There’s cookies, pies and bread to bake, then pans to wash and beds to make;
The rugs need beatin’ now and then, each week she kills and plucks a hen.
Three times a day she keeps me fed, and after I have gone to bed
She sits beside the fire and rocks while darnin’ up a pile of socks.
Whene’er I watch her rush around I always wish my health were sound
So I could help her out a bit, then she’d have time to stop and sit.
But my arthritis and lame back, my daily rheumatiz’ attack
Keep me from pushin’ on a broom, I couldn’t finish up one room.
My sinuses and allergy keep me from dustin’ too, by gee;
Why my weak stomach even kicks at those meals easiest to fix.
So, even though it makes me boil to see Mirandy work and toil,
I help by restin’ quietly so she don’t have to doctor me.
In the January 3, 1953 issue, the Lazy Farmer’s song was about the New Year and that he was soon to turn 70 years old. Again he mentioned “Mirandy”:
A NEW YEAR’S hung upon the wall and this time I don’t mind at all
Because, for me, this year will be a triple anniversary. For one thing, ’53
Is when I’ll reach three-score ten; though that is s’posed to be life’s span,
I feel so good I’m sure I can go on for quite a bit ‘fore my old ticker has to quit.
Then, secondly, this little song will very soon have perked along for forty years,
And though some say it shouldn’t last another day,
It’s been an awful lot of fun composing ev’ry single one.
Fin’ly and by far the most, this is the year when I can boast
That I’ve lived half a century beneath one woman’s thumb, by gee.
Mirandy claims she doesn’t know how we have ever made it go,
But it is easy to explain: I’ve simply stood each ache and pain
Without complaint and given smiles in payment for her wifely wiles.
I’ve been the world’s most faithful spouse, though often she’s called me a louse;
She calls me lazy, but I say she’s better off with me that way
‘Cause in return I’ve suffered loss by lettin’ her pretend she’s boss.
Then, in the May 19, 1951 issue, he waxed poetic about the merry month of May:
I don’t think there is any way you could improve the month of May,
At least as far as I’m concerned, each year I’m glad when it’s returned.
The pleasant smell of new-worked soil, the sight of folks at honest toil,
The green across the country-side, the late spring sun upon my hide,
The early flowers all blooming bright (and no mosquitoes yet in sight),
The shouts of happiness and joy with which each little girl and boy
Greets ending of a long school year–these things all mean the summer’s near.
But best of all, May means we’ve got a first crop from the garden plot;
For me there’s no red-letter day quite like the one when I can say,
“Mirandy, these spring onions are the best you’ve ever grown by far.”
At gardening my wife’s a whiz, I’ll bet that she’s the best there is;
She’s got the greenest thumb around, and when she drops seed in the ground
It grows so fast you have to git out of the way or you’ll be hit.
But while I gobble up the stuff she grows and never get enough,
I’m always puzzled by one thing, and that’s how she finds time in spring
To do the field work I should do and get her garden chores done too.