American Old Time Song Lyrics: 38 The Man Behind The Plow

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 38

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Copyright, 1882, W. F. Shaw.
Words and Musi by Thomas V. Westendorf.

I'm not go much of singin' as these "hyfallutin" chaps;
My voice it may be husky and a little loud, perhaps:
For I have been a-ploughing with a lazy team, you see;
They kept me pretty busy with my "Git up." "Whoa-haw, Gee."
But if you pay attention, I have just a word to say
About a great mistake you make And do it every day;
In dealing out your praises, and I want to tell you now.
Too often you forget the man that walks behind the plow.

You talk about your learned men, your wit and wisdom rare,
Your poets and your painters they get praises everywhere;
They're well enough to make a show, but will you tell me how
The world would ever do without the man behind the plow.

'Tis very nice to go to school and learn to read and write,
'Tis nicer still to dress up line and sport around at night;
Your music, painting, poetry may all be hard to beat.
But tell me what you're going to do for something good to eat.
You say, my boots are muddy and my clothing is too coarse,
I make a good companion for the oxen or the horse;
My face is red, my hand is hard, 'tis true, I will allow,
But don't you be too quick to spurn the man behind the plow.- Chorus.

I like your great inventions, and I'm glad you're gittin' smart;
I like to hear your music, for it kind-a stirs my heart;
But 'twill never touch the stomach of a real hungry man,
And so I call attention to a kind o' thing that can.
Then, boys, don't be too anxious for to leave the good old farm;
Your father's strength is failing, soon he'll need your youthful arm;
If you're honest in your purpose, at your feet the world must bow.
For the greatest of the great men is the man behind the plow.-Chorus.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III