Truth be known, there are probably more farmers (and farm girls) who love country music than there are cowboys to be found. 'Course, some rodeo cowboys you see riding broncs and hog-tying steers are really farm boys. There's a lot of cattle on farms. Horses too. Whether they're really cowboys or farm folks, you can bet there's a tractor in the barn. It doesn't matter if you're on a ranch or a farm, you need tractors to haul manure, bale and haul hay, along with a lot of other chores this kind of spread always has.
So it shouldn't be too surprising that there are country songs that are all about tractors. After all, these hard working machines are a big part of life in the country, whether its just a might larger than a cadet or its so darn big it hogs the entire road maneuvering between fields. The best one that covers this irritant to folks in a big city hurry is Craig Morgan's hit, International Harvester. Everyone else is singing about John Deeres.
Never understood this thing with green tractors. All crops are green. If you want to be outstanding in your field, shouldn't your tractor be a different color? There's just no contrast happening here. Personally, I have a soft spot for red tractors, Farmalls to be precise. Blame it on Oliver Wendall Douglas, but tractors should be red. I once owned a Green Acres tractor. Bertha was beautiful. Tires over 5-feet tall. A 1957 450 H with Torque Converter... Oh yeah, we were talking about songs.
Some people think that, John Deere Green by Joe Diffie is a tractor song. It ain't. Its about paint on a water tower. Jason Aldean's song, Big Green Tractor, is definitely about farm equipment though, and no one will contest its a John Deere. Then we have John Doe on a John Deere by Lonestar where the farm girl wanted more than a guy on a tractor, only to discover that all that glitters is rarely something to treasure.
A smart country man would be drawn to a girl who can do wheelies with her John Deere, as is the case in Jason Meadow's tune, Farm Girl. He knew that was the woman for him in an instant. Any gal who can handle a tractor like that is the perfect farm wife... as long as she can cook too.
This tractor hangup seems to be a global thing. There's a country song from Australia about a new bride taking off on a tractor and he doesn't get it back until divorce court. A rocking country tune, I Want My Tractor Back by Lianna Rose is a little bit of comedy set to some music you just gotta to dance to.
In Man On Tractor, Rodney Atkins wishes that his life could be as uncomplicated as a farmer's. Sure, his crops are planted in rows and seem to come up without fail, but let bad weather set in and that farmer will be as stressed as Rodney with his 'regular' job. Tractor love is definitely part of Atkins' world. He also recorded, Friends With Tractors. The lyrics are all about how much more important tractors and farmers are than 5-star restaurants and high powered people. True. Without tractors, the world would be a lot hungrier than it is based on the way the food system exists in our current era. Even the uber rich depend on tractors to put food on their tables.
The best country song of all times about tractors? Without a doubt it's She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy by Kenney Chesney. If you're going to classify a tractor, it is pure testosterone and muscle. All that power is definitely sexy. The tractors built today are designed to be sexy too. Some may look at them as rudimentary, but the bodies are styled to hug all that rugged horsepower beautifully. A sports car is wimpy in comparison. Sleek, shiny when clean, and the biggest ones sport about 500 horsepower under the hood. It's a mega ranch herd efficiently housed in a small space. What's not to love?
Image courtesy of John Deere Australia