The Hayseed

Dairy farmers - 1938

This is a song from the American populst movement, possibly written by Arthur L. Kellogg. I learned it from the singing of Pete Seeger on the classic Folkways "American Industrial Ballads" album.

The tune to this song is, of course, good old "Rosin the Beau", which has served us well for "Acres of Clams" and lots of political songs. John Lomax noted that the melody, "... was used for no fewer than four political songs between 1840 and 1875." "Lincoln and Liberty Too" is one Someone pointed out to me that the famous murder ballad "Down in a Willow Garden" is the same tune. Really? I hummed it through a few time and will it sure 'nuff is. Amazing how a simple change of mood and tempo can completely change the character of a song.

I don't know about the ticket we'll vote next November, but just singing the song makes me feel hopeful.

Lyrics: 

I once was a tool of oppression
As green as a sucker could be
And monopolies banded together
To beat a poor hayseed like me

The railroads and the old party bosses
Together did sweetly agree
They thought there would be little trouble
In workin' a hayseed like me

In workin' a hayseed like me
In workin' a hayseed like me
They thought there would be little trouble
In workin' a hayseed like me

But now I've roused up a little
Their greed and corruption I see
And the ticket we vote next November
Will be made up of hayseeds like me

Will be made up of hayseeds like me
Will be made up of hayseeds like me
And the ticket we vote next November
Will be made up of hayseeds like me

Song sheet: 
Instruments: 
Tuning: 
C standard