American Folksongs of Protest

By John Greenway | Go to book overview

6. Songs of the farmers1

It's a hard,
It's a hard,
It's a hard on we poor farmers,
It's a hard
.

So far as his songs indicate, the land-owning American farmer has been a good deal less "embattled" than the history of articulate discontent in other fields of labor would lead us to expect. He has produced more songs (judging by the number of farmers' songbooks) than any other laborer, and has suffered more from predatory exploitation than any other laborer, but the number of songs of social and economic protest that he has written is negligible.

Perhaps this is because the farmer has rarely thought of himself as a laborer. Certainly he has never identified himself, on a scale large enough to produce any tangible results, with the cause of labor as a whole. If he has been aware of any class distinctions

____________________
1
See also Migrants.

-209-

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American Folksongs of Protest
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • To Ruth v
  • Preface vii
  • Contents ix
  • Introduction 1
  • 1. an Historical Survey 21
  • 2. Negro Songs of Protest 67
  • 3. the Songs of the Textile Workers 121
  • 4. Songs of the Miners 147
  • 5. the Migratory Workers 173
  • 6. Songs of the Farmers 209
  • 7. a Labor Miscellany 225
  • 8. the Song-Makers 243
  • Appendix 311
  • Bibliography 329
  • List of Composers 339
  • List of Songs and Ballads 341
  • Index 345
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