The New Old Mac Donald

old mac donaldOne of the most popular nursery rhythms for stuffed toys to sing my son seems to be Old Mac Donald and his farm. While I understand the link between a stuffed dog singing of his mother land, from whence he came, there are really only so many animals on the farm that make different and distinct noises. You have your horse, cow, sheep, chickens, birds, fish (because you are starting to get desperate) and that is sort of it – lambs make pretty much the same noise as sheep, goats sound alarmingly like horses, chicks sound like regular birds, you might throw in a cat and a dog because the child you are singing to is beginning to doubt your agricultural credentials if you can only name 6 farmyard animals with their noises, but otherwise that’s all your average city-dweller can name. In a flash of brilliance you might say the farm is also a zoo, so that gives you a lion, snake, monkeys, but then you are stuck again because the elephant sounds very similar to the goat and the horse, as does the jaguar sound similar to either the lion or the cat, and who knows what noise an ostrich makes.

So I decided to approach this problem from another angle. Suppose my son does grow up to be a farmer and emulate this Old Mac Donald, he is not going to be the slack jaw’d yokel sitting on the fence watching the animals go by, god no, he is going to be in farm management, running the show. He will need to know more than the noises the animals make, he will need to know the noises the humans make too.

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had a casual labourer, e, i, e, i, o.

With a curse word here and a swear word there,

Here a cuss, there a cuss, everywhere a cuss word.

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had an accountant, e, i, e, i, o.

With a ‘I don’t think that is a legitimate deductable’ here and ‘You can’t put that against VAT returns’ there,

Here an addition, there a qualification, nowhere talk of off-shore accounts.

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had a mechanic, e, i, e, i, o.

With a ‘it’s not lookin’ good boss’ here and a ‘when was the last time you had it serviced’ there

Here an added extra, there a query about your insurance,

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had a vet, e, i, e, i, o.

With a ‘gosh this elephant sounds just like a horse’ here and a ‘small question about his lineage’ there,

Here a query on its feed, there a check on its poo, everywhere enquires on its origins,

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had an AI guy, e, i, e, i, o.

With a ‘that’s a fine lookin’ heifer you got’ here and a ‘just lift the tail for me’ there,

Here a quick push, there a quick shove, all the time watching for a tear in the gloves,

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

And on that there farm he had an HSA inspector, e, i, e, i, o.

With a ‘that hedge will have to be cut’ here and a ‘talk me through your slurry handling’ there

Here a livestock inspection, there a check on the overhead electrics, everywhere vigilance against hazards,

Old Mac Donald had a farm, e, i, e, i, o.

 

I find once I get into this level of technical detail my status of being the most knowledgeable agri-expert in this particular suburban playground is never questioned again – nor does any child ever ask me to sing the song with them again – curious.

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