Tom Callinan Programs

Tom Callinan

Down On The Farm


Tom Callinan, Connecticut's first "Official State Troubadour" has constructed a participatory program of diverse songs and stories related to farms, farming, and agricultural products. With an extensive repertoire of folksongs and novelty numbers from a variety of times and places, Tom's engaging narrative style will introduce each song or story with a brief explanation of its origin, purpose, etc. Choruses and/or appropriate hand gestures will be taught, and Tom will be self-accompanied on a variety of musical instruments from the wind, string, and percussion families. Volunteers from the audience will be selected to assist Tom in developing a "foo-foo" band from an assortment of rhythm instruments he'll have on hand.

Drawing on his ancestry of dairy farmers on both sides of the Atlantic, and years of working as an Arts-In-Education specialist as an adult, Tom is sure to get the hands clapping and the toes tapping.

The program includes selections from the following (among others) :

This program is usually presented as a potpourri, geared to the age of each respective audience.

If specific selections are desired, sponsors should indicate their preferences when booking.

Native American songs about their way of life and rhythms.  "The Earth Is Our Mother", " Ancient Mother", and "Ki Awah Ji Neh" are Native American chants that celebrate nature, and give thanks to "The Great Spirit".

"The Life Of The Country Boy", "Springfield Mountain", "Jolly Old Roger (the tinmaker man) , "We Gather Together", "The Ash Grove", "Come, Little Leaves", "The Oxen Song" (logging) , "Pick A Bale O' Cotton", "Over The River", and "The Fox" (a farmer is robbed by a hungry fox) are American songs about farms, farming, pastoral life, and the bounty of the land.

Play-party games like "I Want To Be A Farmer", "In A Cabin", "Bingo", "Aiken Drum", "Turkey In The Straw", "Oats, Peas, Beans & Barley Grow", and "The Damper Song" are children's songs. "The Carrot Seed" is a participatory tale about a young boy planting his first crop, despite the admonitions of familial "nay-sayers".

Other songs which may be included are Tom's original compositions: "Connecticut Grown", "Maple Sugar Time", "Strawberry Socials", "The Potato Mash".

"The Praties, They Grow Small" is an Irish song from the great famine of the mid-19 th century, "I Want To Be A Farmer" is a commentary on the tough life of farming in economic terms. "The Turkey ' s Thanksgiving Lament" and "The Apple Picker ' s Reel" are up-tempo, hand clapping songs.