Gettin’ Down on the Farm
Posted by Neal on October 20, 2005
Doug and the rest of the first-graders went on a field trip to a farm today, and so all day I’ve had this song running through my head. It was a hit by Tim McGraw in 1995, and starts like this:
Every Friday night there’s a steady cloud of dust
That leads back to a field filled with pickup trucks.
Got old Hank cranking way up loud
Got coolers in the back,
There’s a big fire burnin’, but don’t be alarmed,
It’sjust country boys and girls gettin’ down on the farm.
The line country boys and girls gettin’ down on the farm is repeated in every verse and in the chorus, so when I first started hearing the song I figured the title must be something like, “Gettin’ Down on the Farm.” Later, I was surprised to find out that it was actually called “Down on the Farm.”
Hold on, now. That changes things. I had thought the down went with gettin’, as in “dancing, partying, and having fun in general.” But now they were telling me that the down goes with on the farm, just like it goes with on the corner in the similarly-titled song by Creedence Clearwater Revival, or with by the bay in the traditional kids’ song. In other words, where I thought I was hearing this:
[ [gettin’ down] [on the farm] ],
I was really hearing this:
[ gettin’ [down on the farm] ].
What they’re telling me is: It’s not that they country boys and girls are boogieing on the farm; they’re arriving at a state of being down on the farm. Is that what they’re telling me? Because the rest of the lyrics strongly suggest the “boogie” reading.
Or maybe the reading was supposed to be “country boys and girls getting down down on the farm,” and one of the downs was haplologized, the same as you might say, “Did you get everything you wanted to get done?” instead of “Did you get everything you wanted to get done done?” (Actually, I make sure to say both dones, but it sure does sound weird.)
Hey, thinking about all this has made me realize: You can also get down on a farm by going there and plucking a goose!