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Four Lane Highway & Mobile Homes
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Social Commentary about the death of the family farm and farming communities from corporate agribusiness.
Author
Copyright
Album
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Genre
Tom Neilson
2004

Tue Jun 13, 2017
Acoustic : Folk
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A total of 2 users rated on average:   5.0 stars
Charts position
» highest in charts:   # 70   (150,528 songs currently listed in Acoustic)
» highest in sub-genre:   # 8   (13,410 songs currently listed in Acoustic > Folk)
» today's position: # 95 in Acoustic
» today's position in sub-genre: # 20 in Folk
About the song
This song is about where I grew up in the community of Sand Hill in upstate NY. It is perhaps the story of all farming communities in the US. It is dedicated to the farmers who had a hand in my growing up process; whose cows I milked, manure I shoveled, and hay I threw.
Lyrics
Four o'clock in the afternoon,
the border collies call.
Martin's on his John Deere,
Monty's yelling his cabosse.
Barn doors open up for Holsteins,
each one knows her place,
Catch a tail with dry manure
whisk across your face.

Music on the radio plays
a country tune
In rhythm with the milking machines
& sweeping with a broom.
We put in hay til midnight
so we could beat the rain.
This farm is family,
don't know no other name.

Then the government told us
to get big or get out.
But Butz & Nixon got no clue
what farming's all about.
Wall Street brokers raise the
interest rates to make some dough
Banker with our mortgages
counting what we owe.

I watch our fields go
4 lane highways & mobile homes
The kids don't see no future
& they're gone before
they're grown.
Can't imagine what the cost;
How to measure what we've lost.
When our fields go
to 4 lane highways & mobile homes.

They brought the bulk tank
& the corporation truck
And 1 by 1 the creameries
in all the towns dried up.
The GLF, Esso station,
& the general store
And the D&H, haulin' freight,
don't stop here anymore.

I watch our fields go
4 lane highways & mobile homes
The kids don't see no future
& they're gone before
they're grown.
Can't imagine what the cost;
How to measure what we've lost.
When our fields go
to 4 lane highways & mobile homes.

The swimming hole at
Lover's Lane where we used to go
To take a dip, for hanging out
or watch a campfire's glow,
Has posted signs in our face,
don't these people know
How to live in a place &
not shut off the flow.

Don't let our fields go
4 lane highways & mobile homes
Parking lots & fast food spots
& another banker's loan.
Can't imagine what the cost,
How to measure what we've lost.
When our fields go
to 4 lane highways & mobile homes.

Late shift at the factory
can run a farmer down.
Cause milking cows
& growing crops is full time
all around.
Working hard to build a home
is what these farming
folk have known
Till you find them in
the Sand Hill cemetery ground.

Don't let our fields go
4 lane highways & mobile homes
Shopping malls, can we stop
the wall from taking what we own?
Can't imagine what the cost.
How to measure what we've lost.
When our fields go
to 4 lane highways & mobile homes.