Cisco Houston Web Site

The Songs He Sang

Farmer's Lament: Lyrics

As performed by Cisco Houston

Les Rice

Appears on:
I've pruned all the apples
   and hauled brush away
Manured the currants
   and seeded the hay
Spring work is over
   and summer has come
I sure hope this season
   Is better than some

It's hard, hard on my hard-working farm

The apples are setting
   so mix up a spray
Before the curculio
   carts them away
The scab and the cotton-moth
   Work busily
They each choose an apple
   and leave one for me


Boom goes the thunder
   and splash comes the rain
"Fine for the famer"
   the city folks claim
The orchard is flooded
   the corn's beaten down
And the roof of the barn
   is blown halfway to town


The apples are scabby
   the currents have rot
There isn't a pestilence
   we haven't got
The grapes are all mildewed
   the cherries are too
But I'm too darn busy
   to start feeling blue


Here comes the buyer
   with tears in his eyes
Telling so sadly
   his wonderful lies
He lives in the poorhouse
   he goes almost bare
The way we treat him
   it really ain't fair


He don't make no money
   he can't pay his rent
His profit's a measly
   400 per cent
He's really an angel
   he's misunderstood
So give him your shirt, boys,
   like good farmers should


Now harvest is over
   I ain't got a cent
I'm calloused and sunburned
   my back's badly bent
I'm just about ruptured
   my feet are so sore
Sometime I wonder
   just who I work for


Of note:

Cisco rarely sang contemporary songs, but this one was brand new when he performed it. The lyrics must have hit home.

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