It’s been a while since I did an edtech cover song. And this one was actually inspired quite some time ago.

But recently while reading Audrey Watters notes for her talk Teaching Machines and Turing Machines: The History of the Future of Labor and Learning my brain was triggered.

You see it was her November 2014 Hybrid Pedagogy article on Maggie’s Digital Content Farm that had me listening more closely to Dylan’s song that was her metaphor, a song of protest, of not giving in. Released in 1964 it was (I think) a knock against the folk movement that turned on him when he went to a more full and electric sound.

Well, I try my best to be just like I am
But everybody wants you to be just like them
They say sing while you slave and I just get bored
I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.

I love that line, and when I listened to the song, well it was like, I gotta learn to play it. I play it ALOT. For myself.

It’s not all that complicated musically (at least the way I do it), a capo on the third fret, where most its a E hammering on a lot form the open strings, than the last little chords go Am7 and D (with a little Dsus4). My new thing is trying to learn to play harmonica along side, using my C harmonica (maps to key of G).

I decided during lunch today to redo the lyrics to lift from Audrey’s article, so here ya go.

I tend to work it a bit as I am writing the lyrics, and then one run through before I record. But pretty much when I click record in Audacity, it’s one take. There a re a few flubs in there where I just rammed on through. I added a bit of reverb, because, reverb. So it goes.

Here’s my re-worked lyrics:

This is fun, but it’s serious.

Dylan’s protest in 1965 was to plug in. Mine, I don’t know… it might be to unplug.

But if nothing else, I tell you this: I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s Farm. And I think you need to think about your own work. Where you work. For whom.

And then you must consider where you demand your students work. For whom they work. Who profits. Where that content, where that data, where those dimes flow.

On whose farm are you working? On whose farm are you demanding your students work? To what end? For whose profits?

Are they safe there? Are you safe there? Are you sure?

Are you working on/for Maggie’s Digital Content Farm?

Top / Featured Image Credits: My own remix of the cover for Dylan’s Single clearly done without permission of any record company. I claim this in the spirt of parody. Whatever.

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


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