Rain On The Scarecrow – John Cougar Mellencamp Song Lyrics

Scarecrow on a wooden cross Blackbird in the barn
Four hundred empty acres that used to be my farm
I grew up like my daddy did My grandpa cleared this land
When I was five I walked the fence while grandpa held my hand

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
This land fed the nation This land made me proud
And son I’m just sorry there’s no legacy for you now
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the plow

The crops we grew last summer
Weren’t enough to pay the loans
Couldn’t buy the seed to plant this spring
And the Farmers Bank foreclosed
Called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land
He said John it’s just my job and I hope you understand

Hey calling it your job ol’ hoss sure don’t make it right
But if you want me to I’ll say a prayer for your soul tonight
And grandma’s on the front porch swing
With a Bible in her hand
Sometimes I hear her singin’ “Take me to the Promise Land”
When you take away a man’s dignity he can’t work his fields and cows
There’ll be Blood on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow
Blood on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow

Well There’s 97 crosses planted in the courthouse yard
97 families who lost 97 farms
I think about my grandpa and my neighbor and my name
And some nights I feel like dyin’ like that scarecrow
In the rain

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow
This land fed a nation This land made me proud
And son I’m just so sorry there’s just
Memories for you now

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow
This land fed the nation This land made me proud
And son I’m just so sorry they’re just
Memories for you now

Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow
Rain on the scarecrow Blood on the Plow

-Mellencamp and Green

The song, “Rain on the Scarecrow”, is a song that was written by John Cougar Mellencamp and George M. Green. This song was recorded on Friday, March 29th at 5:00pm, and could be found on John’s second album Scarecrow.

“Rain on the Scarecrow” is a song famous for it’s political and social protest and awareness. John wrote this song from a personal standpoint, but everyone could find meaning. The protest is against the destruction of family farms, and the awareness is of the plight of America’s farmers. The detailed historical perspective and concrete details referring to the plight of farmers are exemplified in the song by drought, (crops couldn’t grow) developers, (courthouses will buy the land and sell it to contractors) loans, “the crops that grew last summer weren’t enough to pay the loan…” foreclosures, “…the farmers bank foreclosed.” Auctions, “…called my old friend Schepman up to auction off the land…” and finally courthouses “There’s 97 crosses planted in the courthouse yard.”

The visual images of “rain on the scarecrow” and “blood on the plow” are lonely, violent, and desolate ones. Mellencamp’s mood in the song is that of pain and loss of dignity. He realizes that he has nothing but memories to leave his own son, “…and son I’m just so sorry there’s no legacy for you now…”

The family farm has been auctioned off because of bankruptcy, “…the crops we grew last summer weren’t enough to pay the loan…” and the loss is portrayed as a death. This “death” is seen in the quote, “…97 crosses planted in the courthouse yard…” The crosses represent markers or tombstones for the 97 families who lost their farms to the bank.

The major historical reference in this song is the rise of American cities between 1865 and 1900; whose growth was spanned by the Industrial Revolution. Technological advancements in industry and transportation fathered the enormous growth of large cities across the United States. The patterns of urban growth then saw the rising middle class moving further out from the cities creating the suburbs. Suburbs flourished as rural areas dwindled with farmers selling off their land for new housing developments and malls. Today, we have a global and mobile society interconnected by computers, fax machines, and the Internet. These changes in the way Americans live and work have sparked new challenges for each new generation (again, he only has memories for his son.)

According to a survey in 1998, the average family income for American farmers was only $7,000. This is why for the last 15 years, John Mellencamp, and others, have founded Farm Aid.

Farm Aid is an organization that was started in 1985 in order to bring awareness and help to those poor rural farmers. Farm Aid holds a concert every year to raise money for these people. In the last fifteen years that Farm Aid has been in service, they have granted over $15 million to more than 100 organizations, churches, and service agencies in 44 states, which also show no sign of slowing down.

John Mellencamp’s song “Rain on the Scarecrow” is only one of the many songs written to bring this problem out and into the eye of the public. Without the help of him and many other’s, the farmers of the rural areas would no longer be in existence.

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