No, this isn't the travelling salesman
joke, or another Farmer Brown
joke. It's not even a joke
; it's for real! This is a song by the folk
band Eddie from Ohio
, from their studio album "actually not
", but phenomenally better on "portable efo show
". They sing three part harmony on all the choruses, but add a bass
(and he is a true bass, not a baritone
!) and break into an amazing four part a cappella
breakdown, with harmony
in the old Appalachian
style--the high lonesome sound
that bluegrass gospel
is famous for, only without the baggage
--before the last chorus. If the live cut doesn't give you goosebumps
, check your pulse
Breaking hearts in Halifax
the three fine daughters
of Farmer Brown,
Turning heads on the boys in the schoolyard,
catching whistles from the men downtown,
No one knows why they went rowing
The three fine daughters of Farmer Brown,
they didn't know that the rocks on the river'd
be the Three Sisters
' Island where they'd all drown.
Widower Brown had a girl named Nellie,
she was the oldest and toughest of three
She'd take her daddy's well-sharpened sickle
and carve "kill men
" in the sycamore
The men came a courtin' but she'd keep her distance,
never cracked a smile, just played it coy
Some would say "She's as tender as a petal
she'd act up 'cause her daddy wanted a boy."
Old Man Brown had a girl named Dottie
the middle button and the most vain of the three.
She'd take her daddy's fat leather boot
with anyone who'd call her Dorothy
The men would fall on her, and she'd repay them,
peck 'em where they'd find it safe to kiss
like the barn
or the kitchen
or the upstairs parlor
anywhere to keep 'em from her father's fist.
Farmer Brown had a girl named Becca
she was the youngest and most reverent of all
She'd take her daddy's King James Bible
and go study scripture
at the Brethren Hall.
The men would avoid her, and she would condemn 'em
in', and drinkin', and chasin' the Browns.
She'd say "Repent, and join God
The pleasure of sin's not as good as it sounds."
One day the three with nothing in common
spied upon an abandoned rowboat
Maybe their sense of adventure had pushed
the three young girls to set the ship afloat.
They didn't know the strength of the river
the merciless current that pulled 'em down;
Maybe it was due the weight of their denim
but the three girls' bodies were never found.
a cappella, fortissimo:
Some may recall the singin' of the sirens
lured in the sailors who wrecked and drowned.
Some say they still hear the fightin' and the flirtin'
and the preachin' of the daughters of Farmer Brown