- The Latest
words & music by John McCutcheon
Dearest Martha, when you find this, there'll be nothing you can do
To change the way our lives have turned out, it's not up to me and you
All the bills are paid through New Years, all the notes are in the drawer
The insurance ought to help, I wish I could have left you more
Now, no one could call me lazy and I know that I ain't dumb
And no one in this valley knew these awful times would come
As the costs keep climbing higher, the prices never rise
While our mouths are filled with questions they just fill our ears with lies
That banker I made wealthy just ten short years ago
Now sits across his pin-striped desk politely saying "No"
Men who've never known a hard time or soiled their soft white hands
Turn farmers into failures and drive us from our lands
In years to come there'll be the stories, such tales they're sure to tell:
"A fourth generation farmer, and he let it go to hell!"
I know that I'm a good man, but I never can forget
There's nothing left to leave the children but a thousand acre debt
But I read it in the papers and I see it on TV
How everything is back on track, what the hell is wrong with me?
I've worked as hard as any man to bring the ground to grain
But each September brings the harvest, the heartache and the blame
So, Martha, lay me in the orchard underneath the flowering plum
And face me to the east so I can see the rising sun
And remember when the days were young and happy ones for me
And the land was ripe with promises as far as I could see
repeat 1st verse
©1986 by John McCutcheon. Published by Appalsongs (ASCAP).