Lastname 1 Firstname Lastname Teacher’s Name Class Date The Farmer: Just Another Obstacle Harvest. The time of year when bright and striking fall colors illuminate the sides of the roads, late night football games are back in session, and the farmers are preparing to combine their crops. Yes, the farmers are pulling out on the roads once again with their big and bulky combines, tractors, grain trucks, and wagons in order to bring in their long-awaited earnings for the year. It is a season that they particularly look forward to, while fellow citizens may despise it. These conflicting attitudes are illustrated in a variety of country music songs. For example, Craig Morgan’s song “International Harvester” and Luke Bryan’s song “Harvest Time” both deal with the season of fall and harvest; however, they contrast the views of farming by diverse groups of people within society. Though both songs emphasize the stress of fall and farming, Craig Morgan’s song expresses the stress that non-farming individuals impose on the farmer, whereas Luke Bryan’s song describes the feelings brought on by the season from a farmer’s perspective. In “International Harvester,” Morgan blames his stress more upon other drivers than his own task at hand, farming. Morgan claims, “Well you may be on a state paved road / But that blacktop runs through my payload / Excuse me for tryin’ to do my job.” In this quote, the farmer is simply trying to get to his or her field by using a roadway occupied by other drivers. The road runs right past his or her field and is owned by the state, yet other individuals do not see the need for farmers to be on the roadways. Consequently, the large equipment has just as much right to be Lastname 2 on the road as any other motorized vehicle. The farmer is merely trying to get to his or her job, the field, just like the other drivers trying to reach their desks and deadlines. These other drivers more or less see the farmer as a minority. However, in “Harvest Time,” Bryan describes the fall as a season for which farmers think more towards their personal dilemmas rather than others: “It’s harvest time in this little town / Time to bring it on in, pay the loans down / Fill our diesel tank up, make another round.” In this quote, the farmer is simply focusing on bringing in his or her crop for the year and hoping that it is successful enough to pay off any loans without further questions. Farming involves spending numerous amounts of money throughout the year for supplies and now it is finally time to bring in the harvest and pay off any remaining expenses. With this being said, the task must be completed, whether others appreciate it or not. Equally important, in “International Harvester,” Morgan focuses on the disrespect farmers receive from fellow drivers, yet in “Harvest Time,” Bryan recognizes the continued respect that farmers receive from their families. In Morgan’s song, he portrays a scene that many farmers have experienced during their career. He illustrates, “Lined up behind me like a big parade / Of late to work road raged jerks / Shoutin’ obscene words flippin’ me the bird.” In this quote it is easy to see that when driving, individuals see farmers as nothing but discourteous because they tend to take up such a mass amount of space on the road. These particular individuals often do not think before they act; therefore, they take it out on the farmer who is clearly just trying to collect his or her profit for the year. On the other hand, Bryan’s song focuses on the individuals who truly understand a farmer’s career—family and friends. He states, “Bobby’s mother pulls in the field bringin’ us supper / We grab a bite and make sure to hug her / Saddle back up and let the big wheels roll.” In this quote, Bryan acknowledges the fact of families coming together for a meal in the field. Since it is such a short season, a farmer is Lastname 3 constantly on the go. However, the families and friends are willing to become available whenever help is desired. The farmers truly appreciate their assistance, as is seen in the hug. The two songs show the diverse attitudes of people farmer’s come in contact with throughout the season of fall. At the same time, in Craig Morgan’s song, the exaggerated expressions from angry citizens are described, while Luke Bryan’s song provides panoramic details from a farmer’s viewpoint that stimulates the excitement of being back in the fields. In “International Harvester,” Morgan stresses the terminology that is used by a number of irritated individuals when describing the career of a farmer and their equipment. He uses the terms “Hoggin’ up the road” and “Chug a lug a lugin’ five miles an hour” numerous times in order to express that individuals observe nothing but a monstrous machine taking its sweet time on their pathway. The equipment is by no means small or fast. As a result, farmers usually use the roadways only to transport equipment to and from fields, grain bin sites, and housing, taking the back roads to avoid heavy traffic and discourteous drivers. Truthfully, they would rather be on the field enjoying themselves rather than on the active roadway. In contrast, Bryan’s song “Harvest Time” paints the ideal picture for the harvest season from a farmer’s point of view. He states that “There’s tractor-trailers backed up down by the elevator” and adds that “There’s a big red moon comin’ up in the sky / Combine’s cuttin’ in a staggered line.” These particular quotes bring anticipation to many farmers. The breathtaking views at dusk, such as the bright moon, make farmers appreciate their careers that much more and the line of trucks at the elevator builds a sensation of anxiety to a farmer. The season is here, people are in the fields, it is truly time to start harvesting and take in the income. Lastname 4 On the whole, Craig Morgan’s song “International Harvester” and Luke Bryan’s song “Harvest Time” deal with two very distinct ways to view the career of farming: through the farmers eyes and then the view of the rest of the world. The occupation of farming is not given as much credit as it should be given. The differences in the two songs show that there is a lot more to farming then big equipment and taking up space on the road. It is the idea that this is an individual’s career, the idea that this is their profit for the year, and that this profit is used to help support their families. So what is harvest? For many, it is the time of leaves changing and raking them up as they parachute to the ground. Yet for farmers, it is the time of ears of corn falling and combining crops before the snow begins to fly.