The Farmer’s Hired Hand

Image: Tip Estes, forty-three year old hired man, on his farm near Fowler, Indiana, 1937, LC-USF34- 010565-D


You might find me mending a fence line
So the springtime lambs can’t stray
Believe you me, I’d take it personally
If even one got away
Or working double time pulling potatoes
Before they’re taken by a frost or rot
‘Cause I’ll roll up my sleeves
Or crawl on hands and knees
To do whatever work he’s got
You might be a bankerman
Raking in a hundred grand
Me I’ll pay my way on a working man’s wage as a farmer’s hired hand
Now when work gets slow I know it’s time to go
North or south or west or east
And if crops are thin where I’m wandering
I’ll get a change of scene at least
No you can’t ever know how a harvest will go
But the rhythms of the seasons remain
Roaming coast to coast to where I’m wanted most
To me that’s right as rain
You might be a senator
With a run at the president planned
For me there’s no disgrace holding down my place as a farmer’s hired hand
For some folks the be-all-end-all
Is a home where they put down roots
Me I’ll make my place anywhere there’s space
For my hat and my working boots
You might be a movie star
Known up and down this whole hard land
For me it ain’t no shame to bear the unknown name of a farmer’s hired hand