You need no further proof of my youthful idiocy than for me to tell you that I was turned off by “Me and the Farmer” in 1988 because it had the word “farmer” in the title. I didn’t like saying “Me and The Farmer” on the radio. I have no idea why – I was comfortable playing XTC’s “Love on a Farmboy’s Wages.” I must have had some association between the word “farmer” and children’s music and thought it was dreadfully uncool to play a song with that word in the title.
So, when my friend sent me the five Housemartins tracks he had (“Caravan of Love” was the fifth), I was strongly considering deleting this one. Then I listened to it and – duh – its a great song. It really balances Heaton’s twin passions of Marxism and Christianity – its essentially the story of a lad who works for an oppressive farmer. Its not just the young man who hates the farmer – Jesus and God both hate him, too.
One other notable thing about this song is that it includes some tuba, making it one of the very few songs in my library to feature that instrument.