‘The work of the farmer’ back on the radio after 46 years

History is repeating itself for well known country song ‘The Work of the Farmer’ which is back on the airwaves 46 years after it was first recorded by Co Antrim man John Watt.

‘The Work of The Farmer’ was first broadcast on a BBC farming programme during the first week of February 1975 and has made a reappearance again after all these years thanks to popular presenter Hugo Duncan.

The 1975 programme was introduced and produced by John Johnston, who at that time was head of the farming unit for BBC Northern Ireland - it was as a result of that song that John Watt became a

regular on both Mr. Johnston’s radio and television programmes, and it was he who named John ‘The Singing Farmer’, a title that has remained with him to this present day.

Although the song was recorded on an LP shortly after being first aired on the BBC by Homespun Records in Belfast, it lay dormant over the years until John decided recently to re-record it and give it a fresh sound.

And after sending the new recording along to the Hugo Duncan Show on BBC Radio Ulster, John was, as you would expect, more than happy when ‘Uncle Hugo’ or ‘The Wee Man from Strabane’, as he is often referred to, started to play it on his popular programme.

The recording this time around, John explained, isn’t for commercial purposes but purely for nostalgic reasons, and although he has changed some of the lines from the original version to suit today’s modern world of farming, the words of the chorus are just every bit as relevant today as they were when the song was written back in the mid-1970s.

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