I was reared on a farm, I'm a product of the land.
We used to have a dairy, and we milked the cows by hand.
I can still recall the cow yard, and the cowshed roofed with bark.
where we rounded up the cattle and we milked them in the dark;
And they used to take some finding in the dawn light cold and bleak.
For they hid among the timber in the field by the creek.
But we somehow always found them scattered here and there.
And we sent them flying homeward with old rover at their tail.
They would gallop to the cow yard where they'd stand and chew their cud.
Till we waded out to milk them in the slush and in the mud.
Oh! my youth was sadly blighted and my young dreams torn to bits.
While I wasted precious minutes in the cowshed pulling teats.
They were sulky stubborn beggars, but of all our mottled herd
There was none could try the patience or could raise a nasty word
Like the cranky brindle heifer which we bought AT RILEY'S SALE,
FOR YOUR TROUBLES only started when you got her in the stall
She was obstinate and crafty and her teats were sore to boot
And we used to fight like robbers over who would milk the brute
When you slipped the leg rope on her ,if you didn't move back quick
She would land you in the gutter with a well directed kick
Or she would stand there nice and patient till she caught you of your guard
Then she would swing her mud caked tail and catch you good and hard
The tricks she played upon us nearly drove us into fits
So we sold her to a butcher, Dickie Mc Ilwain, and we reckoned we were quits.
When the old man had his breakfast he would mooch about the shed
But he never took on milking- he had never learned he said,
We had a faint suspicion that he never meant to try
Still, we had to do our duty' Neath that stern parental eye
For he was from dear old Ireland where they don't do things by halves
And we had to wash the buckets, and we had to feed the calves.
Then we would gobble down our breakfast and set off a trifle late
To the 2room schoolhouse and get whacked for being late.
There master Mc Cready laboured hard through the day
To impart his knowledge to us, but our minds were all astray
And he didn't seem to notice that our sadly muddled wits,
Couldn't rise above the cow yard and the job of pulling teats.
Now I've said goodbye forever to that cold and slushy yard
Where my youthful life was blighted and my youthful dreams were marred.
I am living in the city where I seldom see a cow
But the thought of Riley's heifer sets my blood a-boiling now.
And when i hear a singing of some sentimental bard
Singing of the joys of farming I am always on my guard
If he dares to use his talent to apostrophise the cow
I'll place something more than laurels on his corrugated brow.
And I warn all future parents who would save their kids from harm
For the love of Mike don't bring them within a bagels gowl of a dairy farm
For I lost my fond illusions and my young dreams fell to bits
While those precious hours I wasted in the cowshed pulling teats.
L. D. (John Dunlop)