These songs are designed to be sung on the seat of a Ford Jubilee tractor.


Track Notes

1) “Emu Bash” – Based on a true story. Lyrics below.

Way back in the 1990s
There was a great deal going ‘round
Farmers growing emus
For ground meat by the pound

The price of birds was soaring
No spare birds or eggs could be found
For starting up your own flock
To get in on the ground

Then a strange thing happened
The prices dropped like stones
It turned Emu meat tastes like dust
And comes with real big bones

Way down near Crystal city
One farmer had been had
And then one night his flock got loose
And things got awful bad…

//////

The emu price went up
Then the emu price went down
And when those prices bit the dust
There were no answers to be found

The emu price went up
Then the emu price went down
When 30 emus broke their pen
It took a whole day to drive them down

//////

This man from Crystal City
Which is really just a town
Well, this man he had some boys
And this man, he had a gun

He also had his marbles
Wouldn’t throw good money after bad
So he kept his ammunition
And gave his boys the keys to the pickup truck instead

He said, “Boys, you’ve got a job to do
Go run those emus down
The fields, they’re all in stubble
Don’t stop until there’s none around”

So the boys with glee went driving
But the job it took all day
‘Cuz every time the truck’d speed up
Those slippery emus would run the other way

2) “Two Grandpas” – My parents and I wrote this cowboy ballad following a conversation on their 47th wedding anniversary about how my two grandfathers actually lived very close to each other as small boys. As adults they lived in different circles, so this coincidence was surprising.

We ran short on time to polish the songwriting, but still managed to record guitar and voices with a laptop mic in their basement. The violin, ukulele, and mouth organ were added in my basement a few days later. Lyrics below.

One mile east of Rosetown
100 years ago
A boy was born named “Grandpa”
or, that is what I’m told.

Some called him John J. Peters
But I’ll take him at his word
When he said, “I am your Grandpa”
As he was growing old.

Three prairie winters later
and not two miles away
another baby boy was born
and “Grandpa” was his name.

1917, it was,
When this Grandpa was born.
His parents called him Peter.
Near Rosetown was his home.

Only 10 years later
In 1927
Peter’s family moved Northeast
Out of the West Reserve.

These boys, who’d be my Grandpas,
Then lived in different worlds.
John’s family stayed right where his own
Grandparents broke the land.

40 summers later
Two Grandpas met again
July 16th at Rosetown church
In 1967.

One gave away his daughter.
One gave away his son.
A marriage was begun that day
beneath the July sun.

47 years passed since that
July wedding day
And we’ve been married ever since
With smiles along the way.

Did they ever meet as boys?
We know they met as men.
After wedding bells stopped
did they ever meet again?

Peters and John J.
were not the only names he had.
My three boys called him Grandpa
But I just called him Dad.

Seeding, harvest, anxious joys
Sunflowers, flax and oats,
Providing, schooling, daily press;
Kept the family afloat.

Dueck, Peter G. is how
The phone book had his name.
My three boys called him Grandpa
But I just called him Dad.

He built and farmed and read at night
And raised a family.
Serving God by serving all
Is how he meant to be.

Who were these men from distant days?
With names now typed in stone?
They once were young and vital
But now are dust and bones.

Their stories do survive them now
With pictures we can see.
They live on in their children.
They live along in me.

Beyond their genes and influence
their blood flows through my veins.
It sure would be a welcome sound
to hear their laughs again.

3) “No Ditch” – Written about the field in our back yard when I was a kid.

Lake Agassiz is shown here. Lyrics below.

There ain’t no ditch
That can dry this land
No matter where it leads to
No matter how it’s planned

With fields this flat
I don’t know what to do
The rain is coming down
And my soil is turned to glue

///

I lost my rubber boots
Down by Penner’s land
Now I’m singing you this song
So you might understand

With land this flat
And the water table high
There ain’t no way dry this field
Except a month or so of sun

///

Just try to take a tractor
Out onto that land
To dig a little drainage ditch
And soon you’ll understand

That you can’t work on mud
And on top of that, you’ll see
There ain’t nowhere to move water
When you’re in the bottom of Lake Agassiz

4) “Spray It, Shoot It” – “CWB” stands for the Canadian Wheat Board.

In case you’re wondering, this is parody.