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:
I Ain’t gonna work Maggie’s Content farm no more No, I ain’t gonna work her Digital Content farm no more A freelance writer on the Web I struggle to be heard Can you send me payment For those 1000 published words I need a new tire gotta fix a busted door I ain’t gonna work Maggie’s Content farm no more I ain’t gonna put my stuff in Maggie’s LMS no more No, I ain’t gonna put stuff in Maggie’s LMS no more Gotta log in to see it Can't share it with everyone And when my class is over Some admin flushed it gone A domain of my own I'm going go for I ain’t gonna put stuff in Maggie’s LMS no more I ain’t gonna signup for Maggie’s social network no more No, I ain’t gonna signup Maggie’s social network no more The web's built for open access Sharing freely I know But ads gotta sell my data I'm stuck in your silo Whatever is what ed tech says its for (Whatever) I ain’t gonna signup for Maggie’s social network no more I ain’t gonna feed Maggie’s data farm no more No, I ain’t gonna feed Maggie’s data farm no more Tech that exploits We send people to such a place Surveillance, control They are profoundly unsafe How do we protest againts this kind of war? I ain’t gonna feed Maggie’s data farm no more Ain’t gonna work Maggie’s Content farm no more No, I ain’t gonna work Maggie’s Content farm no more Well you really outta think of what you ask of your students Who's farm are they working? And who benefits from the rents? Are you safe out there? Are you that sure? I ain’t gonna work Maggie’s Content farm no more
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.