Americans have built their livelihoods by producing crops and goods from the soil and the land.
Throughout the decades there has been many soundtracks to the farming way of life and they’re hopefully gathered here so you can add them to your farming playlist.
25. Daddy’s Farm – Shooter Jennings
This song is kind of a wild card on the list. Shooter Jennings found his own style of music. It’s part hard rock and part country. He had one big hit a few years ago with perhaps his most pop-country track with 4th of July. I really liked that song and this one as well. Daddy’s Farm is about a felon on the run. He shot the guy his girl was with and hid out on his Daddy’s farm. It’s the farm the narrator grew up on playing guitar from morning to night. A nice little change of pace rebel song about farms on this list.
24. Farmer’s Daughter – Rodney Atkins
Rodney Atkins‘ 2006 album If You’re Going Through Hell was such a huge hit that it was almost impossible to follow up. That album saw four singles go to #1 on the charts. Rodney followed it up with another #1 on his next album and then saw two singles struggle on the charts a bit before the bonus track Farmer’s Daughter climbed up the charts in 2010. The song is a simple tune about a young farm hand. He catches on with a farmer and starts doing chores around the farm for a living. The work is tough and he thinks about giving up but then he sees the farmer’s daughter. She’s a real looker and pulls the kid in with her beauty. The rest of the story plays out like a farmer fairytale and the two end up together forever on their very own farm. All over the world there have been stories like this. And it’s a common story for many country fans. Just a great farm song about falling in love.
23. She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy – Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney had his farm song with the classic and fun She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy. The song is about a guy that finds a woman that is in love with his tractor. All she wants to do is go for a ride in the field all day and night with him. The song cracked the top ten on the country charts and became one of the biggest hits of Chesney’s career at the time. This was before his island loving days. At the time people weren’t sure if the song meant a little bit more than just having a good time on the farm with tractors but it’s all in good fun. The song was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and it turned out to be a big winner for country fans and for Chesney.
22. International Harvester – Craig Morgan
At the end of 2007 a song was released that had the sound of farm machinery firing up on the opening of the track. The tune was International Harvester and the performer was Craig Morgan. Now Morgan has the twang of a country guy and the attitude of a hard working farmer. He was perfect for this song and probably the only guy with the personality to successfully pull it off. The song became a top ten hit shortly after it’s release. It’s a song about a farmer that loves his International Harvester. Even when he’s hogging up the road on his p-p-p-plower he loves being a farmer and tilling up the land with his machines. Nothing more country than that.
21. Farm to Fame – Joey + Rory
In a sad story, Joey + Rory tell the tale of a country singer that went from farm to fame. The song is about a unnamed country singer that worked hard to go from rags to riches and then ultimately fell back to rags again after his run of country success flamed out. The song has the usual great melody and sound of a Joey + Rory tune. They have a special talent for telling stories. While this song isn’t directly about farming it sure tells the story of country life and starting out on a farm where hard work is learned, but not always remembered.
20. Hillbilly Deluxe – Brooks & Dunn
Brooks & Dunn have always had a different kind of attitude, but they took things to a new, cool level with the release of Hillbilly Deluxe. The song is about life in a small town. This song kind of stretches the limits of farm songs, but I thought it should be included since it has pickup trucks, home grown country girls, and small town parties. Most of these events happen outside of the small towns all across America where farms are usually only a mile or two, if that, away from the big lights of the small town.
19. Strawberry Wine – Deana Carter
Most people might not think of Strawberry Wine when it comes to farm songs, but the Deana Carter tune was definitely about life on a farm. The waltz made Deana a star when it shot to the top spot on the country charts in the fall of ’96. The song was about young love one summer on the grandparent’s farm. The writer of the song said it was based on actual events from her coming of age history. The song was bittersweet and something everybody could relate to. Strawberry Wine remains popular today and fans love it for the story, the singing, and the great imagery of farm life in the US. A great farm song from country’s own girl next door.
18. The Pickin’ Shed – Ashton Shepherd
It wasn’t a single, but Pickin’ Shed is a classic song from Ashton Shepherd. The souther singer released a great collection of songs on her debut album in 2008. Two singles hit the top 20 and a few of the other tracks became favorites including Pickin’ Shed that is about playing and enjoying music out in the shed on the country property. This is where country music was born – people getting together to celebrate life. The setting for a few great country songs was probably a place just like the Pickin’ Shed.
17. Farmer’s Blues – Marty Stuart
Farmers really came under pressure in the late 1900′s and many struggled. Marty Stuart released his ode to the tough farming life with the song Farmer’s Blues. The song is melancholy and the lyrics tell the story of a farmer working through each day with little security and happiness. The song has some great images and Marty puts his classic vocals on the all too true farm story. A great yet sad farm song.
16. My Town – Montgomery Gentry
One of Montgomery Gentry‘s biggest hits was the song My Town. I put this song on the list since there are images of farming and farming life sprinkled in the lyrics. A rusty tractor is in the first line of the song. Some of these country songs include lyrics and stories about small town life. I can’t help but think of farming and small towns as one in the same sometimes. Where I’m from the farms were only a few miles if that from town and the town seemed to be full of items from the farm especially my favorite Thursday farmer’s market. This is a great tune from Montgomery Gentry and it remains popular on radio and on playlists for many country fans.
15. John Deere Tractor – The Judds
John Deere Tractor appeared on The Judds first album in 1983 and it was later released as a single in 1991. The song is about life in the country compared to life in the city. Wynonna and Naomi sing about how living in the city can be different from the good life in the country. There are some great images of the farm life in the song and that’s why it had to be included in this list. It’s just a great country song in general and one of The Judds’ finest.
14. Man On A Tractor – Rodney Atkins
Here is a great outlook on life by Rodney Atkins. He sings the story of a guy sitting in his house. The guy sees a man on a tractor that seems to have his life in order. The farmer seems to have peace of mind. He knows what he has to do. His work is laid out in front of him. The narrator starts realizing that he’s doing a pretty good job at life. He may not be a man on a tractor, but he’s yielding some pretty good results as he works life in his own way. Another great farming analogy for life.
13. The Last of a Dying Breed – Neal McCoy
Neal McCoy saluted the hard working folks that farm the land every day. The Last of a Dying Breed celebrates the life of farmers yet there is a sad undertone to the song as well since the history of farming in America seems to be ending at worst and changing at best. The days of individual farmers working hard to make a living for themselves and their families are no longer the norm in the American Heartland. They are the last of a dying breed, but we can all still look to them for direction in life while we still can.
12. John Deere Green – Joe Diffie
Joe Diffie saluted John Deere tractors and the good country life with his song John Deere Green. The song was actually written by the great songwriter Dennis Linde and it was both clever and hilarious. The song is about a lovestruck country boy that paints his name and his sweetheart’s name on the water tower one day. The guy of course chooses John Deere Green as the color of the paint. The green color has been an American icon over the years as just about everybody recognizes the color when they see it. That’s the power of branding and a reason John Deere became a huge image of the farming industry worldwide.
11. Thank God I’m A Country Boy – John Denver
In 1975, John Denver released what is perhaps his most well known song. Thank God I’m A Country Boy is fun and super catchy. Denver ripped through the lyrics as fast as he could and he played the fiddle right along at a pace that had everybody’s feet tapping. The song peaked at #1 on the country and pop charts. Denver was always considered kind of a pop-country star because his music had such broad appeal. He was a talented artist that recorded some great country songs including this one about country life that includes some great images from farm life as well. The song was visited again in 1993 for the movie Son In Law and Denver has remained a popular figure in music after his premature death in 1997.
10. Song of the South – Alabama
Alabama sang about country life and included some farm stories in their music over the years. Song of the South was one of the greatest Alabama songs. The song has the story of a cotton farmer and family struggling through life in the South. The song is another catchy one from Alabama. The sing along chorus is familiar to just about every country fan and that’s a big reason why the song remains popular even today. This song is upbeat and an anthem of sorts for the South and farm life. It’s a great country song and also one of the greatest farm songs of all time.
9. Where Corn Don’t Grow – Travis Tritt
For as long as there has been farmers, there has been farmer’s kids longing for something more. Adventure is part of most kids’ lives. Farm life is great. There are wide open fields. Hard work builds character, but for some kids there is always the pull of the world beyond the plow. Travis Tritt released a song about just this feeling with Where Corn Don’t Grow. The song is about a kid that asks his dad if he can leave and seek a life of his own out in the city. Kids often think they have things figured out when they’re still just getting started. Many hard lessons are learned as we go through life. There are often riches out in the world, but quality life lessons can be learned right at home on the farm as well.
8. Alabama Clay – Garth Brooks
Alabama Clay was never a single for Garth Brooks but the song was still able to become popular with country fans and farmers. The song was first released on Garth’s debut album way back in 1989. The song is about life on the farm and takes a unique turn again as a boy learns life on a farm. The story follows the kid as he grows up and tries to work the factory in the city. He eventually finds his way back to life on the farm and things work out well in the end despite a few bumps along the way. Garth was country’s biggest star of all time. He could record songs about anything and have success. Luckily he recorded Alabama Clay as a tribute to the farmers of the world.
7. Amarillo Sky – Jason Aldean
Jason Aldean‘s first record was a platinum success. The first single made the top ten. The second single reached #1 on the charts. To follow that up Jason released the single Amarillo Sky. The song is a story about the struggling life of a farmer. Farming is tough work. Before the sun comes up farmers are out there working the land, doing something that needs to be done to make money and support the family. Usually the chores of the day go on until after sunset. There isn’t much sleep for farmers and there are rarely vacations. It’s a difficult way to live yet it’s necessary for food, resources, and other bounties people need. Amarillo Sky is a great song. It recognizes the hard work farmers put in every day and salutes the ones still going strong.
6. Cadillac Ranch – Chris LeDoux
In 1993 the late great Chris LeDoux released the song Cadillac Ranch. The single reached the top twenty on the country charts. It was a rocking tune – Chris usually never slowed things down. The song is a fun story about a farm family that struggles to keep their farm going. The family decides to turn the farm into a dance hall. There is music, liquor, and a dance floor. The song is rocking and surely had folks out on the dance floor two-stepping and enjoying a good line dance. Chris was a classic country artist. He was truly one of a kind and songs like Cadillac Ranch will forever be a big part of country music.
5. Rain Is A Good Thing – Luke Bryan
In 2009 Luke Bryan combined two classic country themes – rain and farming – and created a classic country tune. Rain Is A Good Thing raced up the charts and became a number one hit for Bryan. The song turns the normally downer of rain on its head by saying that rain can make for some fun along with growing great crops for all the farmers. Celebrate the rain and celebrate American farms.
4. Down On The Farm – Tim McGraw
Farmers know how to grow crops, raise animals, work the land, build structures, and so much more. Something farmers don’t get enough recognition for is their ability to throw a great party. Tim McGraw recognized the farm party with his hit Down On The Farm. The song became a huge hit early in Tim’s career. Getting together for a good old fashion barn dance is always a good idea especially when Farmer Johnson’s daughters show up in a Jeep. Where is the farm party at near you this weekend?
3. Big Green Tractor – Jason Aldean
This was the surprise hit song of 2009. Big Green Tractor shot straight to #1 and became perhaps Jason Aldean’s biggest hit to date. Aldean himself describes the song as a romantic tune about a guy and a gal falling in love – farm style. Big Green Tractor has a romantic sound to it. There is a good old boy romancing his uptown gal by offering to take her for a ride on his tractor rather than heading to town. Sometimes the best date can be staying home and enjoying the good life. Throw in a tractor and what girl could resist?
2. Cafe On The Corner – Sawyer Brown
After a solid run of hits in the mid and late ’80s, Sawyer Brown ran into a about a half dozen single released that struggled on the charts. The guys turned things around though with some big hits and high selling records. In 1992 the guys released the single Cafe on the Corner. The song proved to be a winner with fans reaching the top five on the country charts. The song is about a guy that had to give up farming because he couldn’t make a living doing it anymore. Now he had to head into town and work at the local cafe to pay the bills. In times like today this song takes on special meaning because many people have been forced to downgrade their jobs to pay the bills. This song covered an important aspect of farming that was all too common in the latter half of the 20th century and today. Times changed and unfortunately times changed over the years for farming. Hats off to those that still find ways to successfully farm the land.
1. Daddy Won’t Sell The Farm – Montgomery Gentry
It only reached #17 on the charts, but Daddy Won’t Sell The Farm had a much bigger impact for Montgomery Gentry. The song was released in 1999 as the third single from MG’s debut album. The song’s title aptly describes what the song is about. The guys bring some attitude and fight to the story of a guy that won’t give in for nothing when it comes to his land, his farm, and his life. This guy doesn’t care if his tractor blocks traffic. He doesn’t care if his cows run through the town that’s encroaching on his land. This song rings true for many Americans especially over the past few decades as the American lifestyle moved from the country and towns grew. But it’s the backbone of America to see people taking natural resources and turning them into things that make life better. Farms are the soul of America and it’s great to see some people still refusing to sell their farms. That’s pride.