Cows, Chores, and Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

Update: August 2014:  When it comes to cows, chores, and music, everyone seems to want in on the act. In this odd but entertaining video from Derek Klingenberg, we see a rural pied piper use a trombone and Lorde’s song “Royals” to call the cows. And in this piece from a Kansas State University senior, we get confirmation that cows “got milk” and give milk better with certain types of music.

The Peterson Brothers have another parody—or, as they call it, a “Perry-dy” since they use a Katy Perry song, “Roar.” It’s an inside look at some of the hands-on activities that go with farming routines—specifically, the CHORES that need to be done. They are skilled at using current pop tunes to explain agriculture, and they communicate the dignity and hard work agriculture entails.
Although we raised more hogs and fewer cattle than they do, I still get nostalgic for childhood days on the family farm when I watch their videos. Early morning sunrises with fog along the creek; healthy cattle jostling at the feed bunk; riding in the back of the pickup truck with brothers and cousins.
Alternative Song List–when the CHORES weren’t all “Green Acres” and “Sunnybrook Farm”
However—there were times when I viewed our farm chores in a different light, one tinged with sweat, dirt, and teenage angst. We had plenty of fun, and I would never trade the experience of growing up on a farm, but let’s be honest: some of the chores were tedious at best, torturous at worst.
At times our farm work soundtrack may have included Simon and Garfunkel’s “Feelin’ Groovy” and the Young Rascals “It’s a Beautiful Morning,” but there were other moments on the farm when more discordant songs stuck like earworms in my head:
#1  ACDC’s “Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap”  –when the spreader chain broke in the field and we pitched manure back out after having pitched it in.
#2  Sam Cooke’s “Chain Gang”  –while picking up rocks from a barren cornfield in the back forty. 
#3  The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Outta This Place”  –while cleaning manure out of a neighbor’s dusty and claustrophobic chicken coop.
#4  B.B. King’s “The Thrill is Gone”  –while grabbing the last bale on the ninth hayrack load in a field of never-ending hay windrows.
#5 The Beatles’ “Hard Day’s Night”  –when driving in the final load of corn from the field, after dark on a cold October night.
#6 The Kinks’ “All Day and All of the Night”  –during farrowing time when the sows might decide any hour of the day was a good time for baby pigs.
#7 The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer”  –experienced in a trance after four hours of going back and forth on a four-row cultivator in a field with foot-high corn.
#8  The Stones’ “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction”  –in my early days of milking when I had no idea how to squeeze the milk out of our one Guernsey. Bossy the Cow didn’t get no satisfaction either.
#9 Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Wanna Work on Maggie’s Farm No More”  –toward the end of a session where we held and vaccinated a hundred or more baby pigs.
# 10 The Easybeats “Friday on My Mind”  –especially during the later teen/car years, but it was usually “Saturday on My Mind” when the pitchforks, tractors, and feed buckets were set aside for a spell. 
Note: I never did hum along with Johnny Paycheck’s “Take This Job and Shove It.” As I said above, even in my dazed and confused teen years, I knew how lucky I was to be raised on a farm.  
by dan gogerty (photo from

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