the irresistible fleet of bicycles

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worksongs with max & maggie! atlanta, ga

if you’ve got roots and/or connections in the Southeast, spread the word!

Max and MAggie Druid Hills

Whistlepig Productions Presents: “I’m Goin’ Home: Worksongs, Chanteys and Roots Music with Max and Maggie.”

Join Max and Maggie for a raucous, foot-stomping evening of singing.  With simple call-and-response structures, these work songs and sea chanteys can be learned quickly, require no prior experience, and are great for singing in the field, in the kitchen, or around the campfire. We will start with the simplest songs and learn some more involved worksongs as our lungs warm up. Along the way, Max and Maggie will share ballads, blues, and fiddle tunes from the southern tradition.  Max has taught work songs at farms, colleges, grange halls and general stores throughout the northeast and is excited to share them with folks in his home state of Georgia.  Come ready to cut loose and sing out!

Saturday, July 12th @ Whistlepig Productions in Atlanta, GA.  Admission $15.  Bring your own mug for a $1 discount.  Coffee, tea, and snacks will be served.  Feel free to BYOB.

Please RSVP to for directions.  Doors open at 6 pm, Show starts at 7 pm.

Full Moon Full Plate – Worksongs with Max Godfrey


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music for your february farm projects

Check this out from Robin Grey: The Ballad of Hawkwood. One of our new favorites.


Hawkwood Nursery is the main site of Organiclea, a workers’ cooperative growing food on London’s edge in the Lea Valley. 

The melody comes from an old english murder ballad called ‘The Two Sisters’ which I first heard performed by Rachael Dadd. Tom Waits does a recording which is very good if you want to hear the original.


There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
Mulch, sow and then reap
There is a fine gent christened Ru Litherland
And he has green fingers on both of his hands
I’ll be good to the land and the land will be good to me  Continue reading

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off the charts

the song-poem story. songpoem

OFF THE CHARTS: The Song-Poem Story is a fascinating, at times unsettling, documentary that exposes the strange underworld of the song-poem industry. In this little known subculture, “ordinary people” respond to come-on ads on the back pages of magazines, mailing in their heartfelt but often bizarre poems to “music industry” companies that, for a fee, turn those poems into real recordings. OFF THE CHARTS explores a truly unique, never-before-seen slice of Gothic Americana through interviews with several song-poem writers, the jaded producers and musicians who set their words to music, and a few of the growing number of zealous song-poem connoisseurs.



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worksongs – finally digital!


This site holds a collection of songs people have used, are using, or could use to aid labor.  It’s maintained by me, Bennett Konesni, a farmer-musician from Maine.

It’s a kind of digital songbook.  You can use it to learn songs for use out in your fields, for academic research, or maybe just because you want to listen.

This site is a work in progress.  My long term goal is to have recordings, lyrics, history, usage tips and comments on each song.  But we’re not quite there yet, so please, no beef on the fact that I haven’t got all of the details about who sang what when up there yet… it’s coming!

Check out my favorites.
Or, jump right to the master list of songs.

Here’s a little bit about me and why I’m doing this.  Here is a list of fellow worksongers.
If you’re trying to learn but having trouble, start with this, which is a pep-talk of sorts…


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audio trawl

Hello loyal blog readers, 200

Our occasional, random requests have been so fruitful that we’re coming back for more!
Can you send in  your favorite:
1. Farm / farm-affiliated bands
3. Sea Shanties/ pirate songs
4. Topic songs about farming
Please email We’ve got such a great start on this.
Here are some sources for you to start with if you are still a greenhorn to ag audio:

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