Corn-Pone Tunes: Favorite Songs from Range Creek

By Shannon Arnold-Boomgarden, Ph.D.

Every summer, I get the chance to help lead our archaeology field school in a remote section of central-eastern Utah. Our goal is to teach the 15-or-so undergrads techniques in carrying out field research, but we also aim to have them take away a positive feeling about working with us in this remote location, away from the creature comforts they usually enjoy.

To that end, when we started an experimental farming project a few years ago, I compiled a playlist of fun songs all centered on corn. Corn, corn, and more corn! The students love it and are usually singing all the songs by the end of the summer.

Corn at a Fremont Indian site in Range Creek

I am a big bluegrass and folk music fan, so most of these songs I already knew. A quick search for corn on iTunes and I had a few more to add to the list. I think my favorite song is from a band I had never heard of before, "The Fellows," and it just makes everyone happy and ends with everyone yelling "grow, grow, grow!" My other favorite is Cornbread and Butter Beans by the Carolina Chocolate Drops, which I learned on the guitar so we could sing it around the fire pit after work.
So here you have it, straight from the field to you. The playlist below lists each song name, the time, the band, and the album:

1.) The Boy Who Wouldn't Hoe Corn (5:59) by Alison Krauss & Union Station on Live

2.) Corn (2:28) by Earthworm Ensemble on Earthworm Ensemble

3.) Corn (5:31) by The Younger Sister Band on The Lady Wins Again

4.) Corn (4:36) by The Fellows on The Fellows - EP

5.) Corn (4:45) by Junkyard Jane on Swampabilly Snake Oil Freakshow

6.) Cornbread and Butterbeans (3:10) by Carolina Chocolate Drops on Genuine Negro Jig

7.) Look at Them Beans (2:59) by Johnny Cash on Original: Best Of Johnny Cash

8.) Briggs' Corn Shucking Jig / Camptown Hornpipe (2:55) by Carolina Chocolate Drops on Leaving Eden

9.) Hot Corn, Cold Corn (4:03) by David Grisman & Jerry Garcia on Not For Kids Only  

10.) Corn Liquor (3:23) by Southern Culture On The Skids on Liquored Up And Lacquered Down

11.) Green Corn (1:44) by Leadbelly on Storyteller Blues


Shannon Arnold-Boomgarden, Ph.D. is the Assistant Field School Director & NHMU Archaeology Lab Manager. The Natural History Museum of Utah is a part of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Our mission is to illuminate the natural world and the place of humans within it. In addition to housing outstanding exhibits for the public, NHMU is a research museum. Learn more.

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