Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
Plow Under

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Plow Under

Plow Under

Remember when the AAA,
Killed a million hogs a day?
Instead of hogs, it's men today,
Plow the fourth one under.

Plow under, plow under,
Plow under, every fourth American boy.

They said our agricultural system was about to fall,
From Washington they sent a call -
Plow the fourth one under.

Plow under, plow under,
Plow under, every fourth American boy.

The price of cotton wouldn't rise;
They said, we've got to fertilize,
So now unless they turn their eyes,
Plow the fourth one under.

Plow under, plow under,
Plow under, every fourth American boy.

They said our system wouldn't work
Until we killed the surplus off,
So now they look at us and say,
"Plow the fourth one under."

Plow under, plow under,
Plow under, every fourth American boy.

Any ignorant mule does know
Better than to step on a cotton row;
But there ain't no mules in Congress, so -
Plow the fourth one under.

Plow under, plow under,
Plow under, every fourth American boy.

Now the polititions rant,
"A boy's no better than a cotton plant."
But we are here to say, "You can't!"
Plow the fourth one under.

Plow under, (don't you) plow under,
(Don't you) plow under, every fourth American boy.

(Now don't you) Plow under, (don't you) plow under,
(Don't you) plow under, every fourth American boy.

   note: The New Deal agency, Agricultural Adjustment Administration
(or Act) was passed 5/12/33. The US Supreme court found it
unconstitutional in 1936 and the AAA remains in force today
in the US and many other countries.
     One of its weirdest provisions is to "plow under" - destroy -
farm crops and animals to raise farm prices and keep farmers in business
so they'll produce food & we won't starve.  Many find it hard to
understand how this relates to those already starving.
     Anyway, in their bad old anti-WW II days, the Almanac Singers
parodied the AAA as a protest against Lend-Lease.  An isolationist
senator had stated Lend-Lease would "plow under every fourth American boy."
     "Plow Under," on "That's Why We're Marching", Smith/Folkways
CD, 1996. (Notes based on Guy Logsdon & Jeff Place.)  Originally
released May 1941. AJS

AJS
Apr98
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