The Scottish Mail on Sunday
Old MacDonald is thrown off his farm – by the PC brigade
WITH an oink oink here and a quack quack there, it introduced generations of children to the singalong sounds of the farmyard.
But a new version of nursery rhyme Old MacDonald’s Farm puts the animals – and the old farmer himself – out to grass, replaced by the buzzes of mechanised agriculture.
Even the fun refrain of E-I-E-I-O is updated – with a new ‘urban’ chorus of yo, yo, yo, yo, yo! The new rhyme has been written to reflect the diversity of today’s agriculture. It features a female farmer who uses drones to check her fields from the air.
The tone of the song is set in the first verse, which goes: Young MacDonald had a farm, Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo! And on that farm she had a drone, Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo! She flew it here, she flew it there, Checked the farm from in the air, Young MacDonald had a farm Whirr, whirr, whirr, whirr, whirr!
The song has been rewritten by the campaign group Linking Environment And Farming (LEAF), which believes the traditional version perpetuates an outdated view of farming. The project follows research that found that more than three-quarters of farmers believe people have an inaccurate idea of the industry, with a third saying the century-old rhyme reinforces that perception.
The research also found that only 13 per cent of people think there are female farmers, when they make up 28 per cent of Britain’s agricultural workforce. And only one in five think of farmers as tech-savvy, although most now use robotic milking equipment, and GPS for plotting activities such as spraying fertiliser.
LEAF chief executive Caroline Drummond said: ‘Farming has come a very long way in 100 years and we’re far removed from where we were when Old MacDonald was written. This is the perfect time to get it updated.’