Farmhand's Refrain

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Farmhand's Refrain  (1938) 
by H. H. Lewis

You Repocrat squires in the Farm Bureau,
You Demirep lairds in the Grange,
Your bigness content with the status quo
And alarmed at the rumblings of Change,
We'll never go fascist to froth and kill
For assuring the girth of your belts:
Not ours, not ours the farms we till,
We're working for somebody else—

 Ranging somebody else's ownsome ground,
 Lacking somebody else's thrill,
 Haunting somebody else's too profound,
 Just a-ghosting for somebody else!

We hirelings and sharecroppers here below,
You thanes with your organized Front,
We walking at last with the See-Eye-Oh,
You in dread of an organized brunt,
We'd languish till Gabriel ends it all,
Should we wait till your apathy melts:
Not ours, not ours the creed you bawl,
We're working for somebody else—

 Planting somebody else's ownsome Spring,
 Reaping somebody else's Fall,
 Making somebody else's proudness ring,
 Just a-serfing for somebody else!

For you--all these versions of A.A.A.,
More money on top of your means.
For us--yet the paltry six bits a day,
Through winter for bedding and beans.
No matter how far from the Dixon line,
How unAfric the shade of our pelts:
Not ours, not ours your class-combine,
We're working for somebody else—

 Milking somebody else's ownsome cow,
 Calling somebody else's swine,
 Doing somebody else's chores, and how,
 Just a-being for somebody else!

Our Neighbors in Russia "belong" at least,
No landlord impugning their worth;
Have much consolation of goods increased,
If not the sole havings of earth.
What here on the chattelized veldts?
Not ours, not ours the homes and cars,
We're working for somebody else—

 Breathing somebody else's ownsome air,
 Counting somebody else's stars,
 Finding somebody else's god up there
 Just a-ghosting for somebody else!

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was legally published within the United States (or the United Nations Headquarters in New York subject to Section 7 of the United States Headquarters Agreement) before 1964, and copyright was not renewed.
For Class A renewals records (books only) published between 1923 and 1963, check the Stanford Copyright Renewal Database and the Rutgers copyright renewal records.
For other renewal records of publications between 1922 - 1950 see the Pennsylvania copyright records scans.
For all records since 1978, search the U.S. Copyright Office records.

The author died in 1985, so this work is also in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 25 years or less. This work may also be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.


Works published in 1936 would have had to renew their copyright in either 1963 or 1964, i.e. at least 27 years after it was first published / registered but not later than 31 December(31 December) in the 28th year. As it was not renewed, it entered the public domain on 1 January 1965(1 January 1965).