The old cotton fields at home. (2023)

John is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, storyteller, and poet. He always tries to include a social message or comment in his writing.

The old cotton fields at home. (1)


"When I was a little, little baby
My mom would rock me in the cradle
At home in the old cotton fields;

It was in Louisiana
One mile from Texarkana,
At home in the old cotton fields.

Oh when the cotton bolls rot
You can't pick much cotton.
At home in the old cotton fields."

~Credence Clearwater Revival~

I can feel a song coming on.

–Rance Darlington

An unexpected and unusual torrential storm had recently ruined half of a local farmer's cotton crop. Rance and his wife, Marion, had asked if Kathy and I would go with them to pick cotton for spinning. They had asked the farmer for permission and he had replied, "Do it!"

So one afternoon, we headed to the farm in a small rural community called Byee with our stash of biodegradable plastic bags (good to reuse at times like these).

"Look at those cotton fields!" I exclaimed as I got out of the car and looked at the seemingly endless rows of cotton in front of me.

"I can feel a song coming on," said my friend Rance, and began to sing the opening lines of Cotton Fields (Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home). I'm not sure who originally sang it, but I know Credence Clearwater Revival and Johnny Cash covered it. Anyway, I couldn't help but sing along to the catchy lyrics.

The old cotton fields at home. (2)
The old cotton fields at home. (3)

cotton picking equipment

Four of us went cotton picking

Just for something new.

Armed with plastic bags,

We are the cotton picking crew.

The harvest was ruined by too much rain.

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The farmer nodded

"Just do it," was all he said.

He did not shovel.

The old cotton fields at home. (7)

Much was filled with sticks and sand,

too difficult to clean

But seed pods half closed or taller

They were perfect by our standards.

(Video) Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cotton Fields

Kathy and Marion are weirdos

They spin thread on their wheels

Then weave it, knit it or crochet it,

Depending on how they feel.

We spent an hour or maybe three

Rank up.

Time flies when you're having fun

So how long I don't know.

We have tried to select the cleanest seed pods.

And take grains from the rest

To make it easier at home.

It was slow and quite a test.

When we picked and bagged the cotton

A country song stuck in my head

Mississippi Cotton Pickin' Delta Town

Good old Charlie Pride.

Then Rance mentioned another

The old cotton fields at home.

We sing this in our heads

Until the darkness took us home.

The old cotton fields at home. (8)

Mississippi Cotton Pickin' Delta Town

“In a cotton-picking town in the Mississippi delta
A dusty road of ups and downs
Not much to do other than hang out
Cotton picking in a Mississippi delta

~Pride Charlie~

There must be a poem there.

–Rance Darlington


As winter approaches, the days get shorter and darkness falls early, forcing us to pack up the cotton sacks we've already collected and head home. As we walked back through the lines to the car, Rance said, "There must be a poem in there." He knows that I have published volumes of poetry, so he tells me very often :) In fact, he inspired me to write poetry that I otherwise would not have thought of. Anyway, The Cotton Picking Crew poem above is the result, so thanks Rance.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on June 28, 2017:

No Shauna, we didn't wear gloves since we were only collecting a few hours before dark. I could see how they would be needed if you spent a full day picking. I'm glad you liked the poem.

bolos shauna lof Central Florida on June 28, 2017:

I love your poem John. Did you use gloves to pick cotton?

When my mother was growing up in Missouri, they would leave school for a few weeks in April or May to help families pick cotton. Mom says that it was exhausting work and very hard on the hands (scratches, etc.).

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on June 23, 2017:

Thanks Lorenzo :) Regards.

lorenzo goton June 22, 2017:

And it's also a great little poem!

I loved.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on June 13, 2017:

Thank you for complementing your excellent poetic comment. Luckily we picked it up at the end of the afternoon when the sun was no longer beating down. blessing back.

(Video) Johnny Cash - In Them Old Cotton Fields Back Home

Shyron E Shenkoof Texas on June 13, 2017:


Picking Cotton Isn't Fun

especially in the blazing sun

It hurts too much to sit

I have to pick up enough to get to the gin.

Dirty and sweaty, makes you want to swear

what is a sin

Good center, brings back memories of "The Last Hoedown".

blessings my friend.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (country of Gondwana) on 06/02/2017:

Thanks Flourish, I might post a picture of these when my wife gets some.

bloom anywayfrom USA on 06/02/2017:

good poem. I would love to see someone actually turn it into yarn!

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (country of Gondwana) on 06/02/2017:

Haha thanks Paula. It is always good to receive your comments. Health.

suziefrom Carson City on 06/02/2017:

Jodah... You always entertain. Now how do I get that song out of my head for the rest of the day? hahaha Your friend is right... if there's a poem somewhere, Jodah wrote it! Paula

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (country of Gondwana) on 06/02/2017:

Thank you It's a pleasure to receive a comment from you and I'm glad you liked it.

Oakof Wales on June 02, 2017:

Brilliant John, I loved it and here are many more.


John Hansen (Author)from Australia (country of Gondwana) on 06/01/2017:

Thank you Mrs Dora. Health.

Dora Weithersof the Caribbean on June 1, 2017:

The theme and photos evoked memories of cotton-picking stories, and her poem sealed the deal. Good reading!

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 30, 2017:

GalaxyRat, most people today have never had the experience of picking cotton firsthand, so you and I are among the privileged few. Thanks for reading and the good comment.

Galaxia Rataon May 30, 2017:

I love it, it's great. Not long ago I was at the Hermitage with my family and we were picking cotton. I kept the cleaner in a bag and it's hanging on my wall.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 30, 2017:

Devika, thanks for reading and commenting. I'm glad you found this interesting.

Devika Primicfrom Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 29, 2017:

Wow! A beautifully landscaped center! An interesting one about cotton fields. I had an idea about this story.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 29, 2017:

Yes, it was a great experience, Alyssa. Thanks for the nice comment.

alyssaaus Ohio on May 29, 2017:

(Video) Cotton Fields - Versión ASUNCIÓN BLUES

What an unforgettable experience. Wonderful poetry!

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 29, 2017:

Hello Joe. I also wouldn't have imagined writing an article/poem about cotton picking if I hadn't had the unexpected opportunity to do so. The cotton was not suitable for commercial use but good for spinning on a small scale.

and mullerin Tennessee on May 29, 2017:

I never expected anyone from Down Under to get a tribute picking cotton. Cotton picking is now done by machine here, but in our country it was associated with slavery and sharecropping.

Great article and I love the idea of ​​you using this otherwise useless product to make new things.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 29, 2017:

thanks larry I really enjoyed choosing.

Larry Rankingaus Oklahoma am 28. As of 2017:

I never personally chose it. Great read!

Doris James MizBejabbersfrom the beautiful south on May 28, 2017:

John, your poem really hit the spot. I'm from the cotton picking south about 100 miles from Johnny Cash's hometown. I really appreciate your cotton harvest tribute and songs. The song's history dates back to the 1940s with frontman Belly and then Harry Belafonte in the late 1950s. It experienced a major revival during the rockabilly era. Great deal my friend.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Thanks clive. You are quite right that cotton picking would not evoke pleasant memories of slavery etc. in certain breeds.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Yes, Mike, even though I live in the city now, it's still rural, so there are farms everywhere. This town, Murgon, is actually called the beef capital of South Burnett, but there's also cotton, peanuts, dairy, etc. I hope you enjoy the music selection.

MANDAL DE DEBANGEEfrom India on May 27, 2017:

wonderful photos

mckbirdbksfrom Emerald Wells, right at the intersection, Texas on May 27, 2017:

Hi John. It seems that you can take the child out of the country, but you cannot take the country out of the child. I think I should complain less here since I haven't been asked to pick cotton yet. I am now listening to your selection of music.

A great inspiration to all of us.

clive williamsfrom Jamaica on May 27, 2017:

Very nice. But cotton picking was not good for all races. Just say.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Ramas, thank you. It's good that I got you to sing. I almost bought a piece of land in a town called Tara here in Australia. Although I don't know if there are cotton fields there.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Linda, I'm glad I was able to mentally transport you to a cotton field. Thank you for reading.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

thanks venkat I'm glad you liked it.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Eric, you're too nice. I think it's the ultimate compliment when a child likes something we write and we read it to them. The fact that this led him to ask you questions is even better. Thank you my friend.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Eric, you're too nice. I think it's the ultimate compliment when a child likes something we write and we read it to them. The fact that this led him to ask you questions is even better. Thank you my friend.

linda lumaus Washington State, USA on May 27, 2017:

John - I have never seen a cotton field, but your words took me there. Thanks for sharing this experience.

gypsy rose readsfrom Daytona Beach, Florida on May 27, 2017:

This was a great hub. He made me sing and he remembered the cotton fields near Tara in Gone with the Wind.

eric diekeraus Spring Valley, CA. USA on May 27, 2017:

(Video) Cotton Fields (The Cotton Song)

First song I sang in a college town rock 'n' roll bar. They would put me there for something other than rock 'n' roll. I think I sang JC's original version.

You are very lucky not to have to choose a bail rate. this will cut your fingers to the bone.

Watch me go on and on Thank you for sharing this with my son and for asking more questions than a 30 year old classroom about the moon landing.

You are great John. My son keeps asking me to read his Betelgeuse.

Venkatachari M.from Hyderabad, India on May 27, 2017:

Very interesting and entertaining. The poems are great and the ones you composed are also very beautiful. Thank you, John, for that nice gift.

quiennunuquienfrom the US on May 27, 2017:

Brings back memories of days gone by. Well done my friend. blessings for all. who

MICKEY MOUSEfrom our world on May 27, 2017:

I have never worked on a farm. But I know it's full of hard work. Quite tedious and all the heat from the sun is eating our heads. Rain can be a blessing, but it can also become a problem when it rains a lot. Sometimes I think owning a farm full of animals is fun. But it is really a tedious life to manage a farm.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Bill, that was the only time I picked cotton and there was no pressure. I can't imagine doing this all day, every day, for a living.

bill hollandfrom Olympia, WA on May 27, 2017:

Very good response to the species challenge. Have you ever picked cotton, John? There's no way that boy would do that day in and day out... he'd come home without half my blood, ducking all the time. Hard work for hard people.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Welcome back Ruby. I'm glad you can refer to my cotton picking experience. It's not easy, but I would never do it again. I'm glad you liked the Boll Weavil song too.

Rubin Jean Richertof southern Illinois on May 27, 2017:

I listen to the "Boll Weavil" video and tap my toes. She was in Missouri with some friends picking cotton. My son Jackie was little and he picked up more than me, then we both lay in the sack, never again!

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

It's always good to get your feedback, Val. Yes, the oppressed or exploited always managed to find ways to overcome difficulties by turning their attention to songs and the like. I'm glad you liked my approach.

Val Karason May 27, 2017:

John --- What a beautiful way to describe those times when nothing but the human soul could inspire a song; the same soul that has always refused to succumb to hardship of any kind.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Praveen, I'm glad it reminded you of the story of Sleeping Beauty. Yes, there are many different types of spinning wheels for spinning cotton, wool, alpaca and many other fibers and subtleties.

MICKEY MOUSEfrom our world on May 27, 2017:

When I think of cotton, it reminds me of the story of Sleeping Beauty. There are different types of spinning wheels that are used to spin cotton.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Thanks for sharing this Mark. I'm sure picking cotton every day is no fun. That's where at least a few popular songs came from.

Markus Tulinfrom Long Beach, California on May 27, 2017:

It's always nice to recognize those who worked in the field. Much sweat and blood went into this work. Every time I walk past the workers huddled in the California fields, I think of all the pain they must feel in their bodies. The same goes for those who picked cotton in the south. They had to write songs to ease their suffering. It certainly wasn't out of joy.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

thanks tim You're right, it's not that easy and I wouldn't want to do it as a full time job like they have done in the past. I would have liked to have included more of the history of cotton, but it is so long that it was quite a task.

tim michelaus Escondido, CA May 27, 2017:

Class! Thank you for sharing the inspiring story and your experience. Cotton has a long history and most don't realize how difficult it is to pick.

John Hansen (Author)from Australia (Country of Gondwana) on May 27, 2017:

Thanks brother. I appreciate your kind comment and it was the first too. Be aware.

manatita44from London on May 27, 2017:

Nice incentive... excellent lyrics and great poetry.

(Video) Cotton Fields (Leadbelly) | Playing For Change | Song Around The World


What is cotton field? ›

cottonfield (plural cottonfields) (agriculture) a field in which the cotton plant is grown and harvested.

Is Texarkana a mile from Louisiana? ›

Distance from Louisiana to Texarkana is 335 kilometers.

The air travel (bird fly) shortest distance between Louisiana and Texarkana is 335 km= 208 miles. If you travel with an airplane (which has average speed of 560 miles) from Louisiana to Texarkana, It takes 0.37 hours to arrive.

When was the song Cotton Fields written? ›

“Cotton Fields” is a song written by blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly, who made the first recording of the song in 1940.

Do Cotton Fields still exist? ›

Almost all of the cotton fiber growth and production occurs in the Southern United States and the Western United States, dominated by Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. More than 99 percent of the cotton grown in the US is of the Upland variety, with the rest being American Pima.

Are there still Cotton Fields in the US? ›

U.S. cotton is grown predominantly in 17 southern-tiered “Cotton Belt” States—from Virginia to California. Cotton is planted from March to June and harvested from August to December. Among the U.S. States, Texas is the largest producer, contributing approximately 40 percent of U.S. cotton production in recent years.

Is Texarkana more in Texas or Arkansas? ›

Texarkana, Texas is a city in Bowie County, Texas, United States, located in the Ark-La-Tex region. It is a twin city with neighboring Texarkana, Arkansas. The population of the Texas city was 37,280 at the 2015 census estimate.

What's Texarkana famous for? ›

Sitting at the crossroads of four states, Texarkana has been known for a century for its iconic courthouse and post office building that straddles the state line between Texarkana, Arkansas and its sister city, Texarkana, Texas. The courthouse is one of the two most-photographed courthouses in the nation.

What is the crime rate in Texarkana Texas? ›

The Texarkana TX crime rate for 2018 was 456.49 per 100,000 population, a 63.82% decline from 2017. The Texarkana TX crime rate for 2017 was 1261.81 per 100,000 population, a 50.46% increase from 2016.
Texarkana TX Crime Rate 1999-2018.
City NamePopulationRate
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Did Billie Eilish write the 4 Town songs? ›

We're talking about the song “Nobody Like U”, which superstar Billie Eilish and her brother/songwriting partner Finneas O'Connell wrote for fictional boy band 4*Town, the freshly scrubbed quintet of teen dreams that Ming and her girlfriends are obsessed with.

Who did Paul Brady wrote songs for? ›

Gradually other artists worldwide began to record his songs, including Brooks & Dunn, Joe Cocker, Cher, Tina Turner, Trisha Yearwood, and Santana. Brady has also collaborated with such varied artists as Belinda Carlisle, Rosanne Cash, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt and John Prine.

Did Chris Stapleton wrote songs for George Strait? ›

Having penned chart toppers for Kenny Chesney, Luke Bryan, George Strait, and more, his prowess as a musician was being appreciated well before he ever slapped his own name on an album cover.

What are the 4 types of cotton? ›

Types of cotton
  • Upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)
  • Egyptian cotton (Gossypium barbadense)
  • Cambric.
  • Canvas.
  • Corduroy.
  • Denim.
  • Flannel.
  • Gauze.

How much is a field of cotton worth? ›

The latest USDA 2022 cotton cost-of-production forecast is $803.51 per acre.

Is cotton still picked by hand? ›

The New Age of Cotton Pickers

Today, John Deere remains an innovator in the world of cotton harvesting. With the six-row picker introduced in the mid 1990s and later, in 2009, the capability to bail cotton as it's being picked, manual labor has been almost entirely eliminated from the harvesting of cotton.

Can you grow cotton in your backyard? ›

Cotton is a wonderful plant. Not only does it look great in your garden, but it produces fiber that you can spin for thread or yarn and make clothes with. You will need a long growing season, fertile soil, and adequate moisture, plus plenty of heat, particularly later in the season.

Why doesn't the US grow cotton? ›

any Americans now wonder, does American still grow cotton? The simple answer is yes. Cotton requires a warm climate to grow and the reason for its production to be located in the southern states of America. The major cotton producing states include Texas, California, Arizona, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Does picking cotton hurt? ›

Cotton bolls are sharp and pointy and can injure your hands. While this is not required, wearing gloves will help preserve your hands as you pick the cotton.

How many pounds of cotton did slaves pick a day? ›

In general, planters expected a good “hand,” or slave, to work ten acres of land and pick two hundred pounds of cotton a day. An overseer or master measured each individual slave's daily yield.

Do people still pick cotton in 2022? ›

World cotton harvested area in 2022/23 is forecast at approximately 32.7 million hectares (80.1 million acres), slightly above 2021/22—with a large increase in India and smaller increases elsewhere offsetting the large year-to-year decrease in harvested area in the United States.

Do people still pick cotton in Alabama? ›

In Alabama, the cotton boll opens in the fall. Cotton is picked by machines called cotton pickers. These machines can cover six to eight rows at a time and can harvest up to 190,000 pounds of cottonseed per day. In Alabama, cotton is harvested in the fall not long after the boll opens.

Who first sang Cotton Eyed Joe? ›

Cotton Eye Joe (Rednex song)
"Cotton Eye Joe"
Songwriter(s)Janne Ericsson and Peter Örjan Öban Öberg Pat Reiniz Patrik "The Hitmaker" Lindqvist
Producer(s)Pat Reiniz
Rednex singles chronology
"Cotton Eye Joe" (1994) "Old Pop in an Oak" (1995)
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Who wrote Midnight Special? ›

The song refers to the passenger train Midnight Special and its "ever-loving light" (sometimes "ever-living light").
Other versions.
"Midnight Special"
Song by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Producer(s)John Fogerty
4 more rows

Who wrote Proud Mary? ›

When John Fogerty wrote "Proud Mary" 45 years ago, he had never cleaned a lot of plates in Memphis or hitched a ride on a riverboat queen. But he was on to something with those lyrics. Recorded first in 1968 by Mr.

When was Cotton Fields Back Home released? ›

What does the phrase cotton eyed mean? ›

The phrase may refer to: being drunk on moonshine, or having been blinded by drinking wood alcohol, turning the eyes milky white; a black person with very light blue eyes; miners covered in dirt with the exception of their white eyes; someone whose eyes were milky white from bacterial infections of trachoma or syphilis ...

What does Cotton Eye Joe mean about slavery? ›

The history of the song pre-dates the Civil War and is believed to be associated with a caricature depiction of enslaved peoples forced to pick cotton on southern plantations.

How much did Cotton Eyed Joe sell for? ›

Rich and his investment partners fetched $24.5 million for the property at 200 Broadway, known as the “Cotton Eyed Joe” building.


1. Creedence Clearwater Revival Cotton Fields Pelicula 164 (Read Description for Discernment)
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3. Cotton Fields [Bass Cover]
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