The Cow Song (Song for Mr. Foote)

Above is a photo of my father with a calf that we raised, photo by my Uncle Kurt. Below is the field next to the barn in a family photo.

Mr. Foote, my 7th grade history teacher gave us grief when he realized he had a class full of kids that didn't know one cow breed from another. This after years of farm kids who damn well did know. So this is homework and an apology to Mr Foote, who is long gone.

But there is more to this.

There is the part about how my parents moved us to the farm when I was four and my brothers 7 and 13. There is the part about how the farm never worked as my father hoped, and he kept his New York City job.

There is the part about how, in grade school, I made fun of the farm boy down the street, who came to school with boots covered with mud and cow flop. And how that still haunts me 60 years later.

Download The Cow Song MP3

The Guernsey, that’s a dairy cow,
Brown and white and rugged,
Jerseys are all small and tan,
As milkers much beloved.

He was old school back in my old school,
He was big and tall and loud,
Limped with a wound from WWII,
And for that he might have been proud.

He had taught in my town for many years,
Years of kids from farms,
All about fishing and hunting and chores,
Muscles in their arms.

The Holstein’s are the black and white,
of Cow pattern clothes,
Herefords, brown beef cattle,
White face and pink nose.

One day he came into class,
Big guy in a bad mood,
Right away he stared us down,
Laid into us pretty good.

Not one of you kids knows your cows,
Or what that cow’s good for,
Nothing but super market kids,
You think food comes from the store.

Angus are  black burly ones,
Give us steaks and roasts,
While Ayrshires brown and white are,
Tied to milking posts.

He was old school back in my old school,
Too big, too tall, too loud,
But he sadly watched our houses grow, 
Where once the fields were plowed,
He sadly watched our houses grow, 
Where once the fields were plowed.