Run Behind The Plow

Alice Winship high school graduation photo
Alice Winship, High School graduation photo

By Alice Winship

My father was a tall man, with dark hair turning gray,
Apart from the weather and the price of wheat he didn’t have much to say.
He took me with him one spring day to plow the big north field.
I left my shoes by the old truck door and the plow of shining steel – plow of shining steel.

The big red tractor roared to life and started down the row.
It cut a furrow deep and wide, just watch that tractor go.
The gulls came out of nowhere watching for the mice to run.
My bare toes dug into soft dirt and I began to run – I began to run.

Chorus: The shining moldboards throw a stream of dirt like heavy rain.
             The wild, wild smell of the new-turned earth sets a fire in your brain.
             You feel you could run forever, you feel like you could fly.
             And all the while the white gulls circle overhead and cry.

The plow flipped over and started back at the end of every row.
My heart was light as ever, I ran fast as I could go.
But I felt the first faint stirrings of a something never told,
I was filling up with the weight of years; I was almost a decade old – almost a decade old.


My mother drove up then to run the harrow in the rear.
She said, “Alice, get your shoes on! It’s too cold out here.”
My father answered, “Let her be. She’s growing up,” he said.
“This might be the last time”. – He had seen inside my head – seen inside my head.



I remember many instances of running behind the plow. But this song is about one day that sticks in my memory. It was amazing to me that my Father knew what I was thinking and feeling. He normally didn’t say much but I knew then that he had empathy and understood me.


  • Written by: Alice Winship
  • Arranged by: Alex Sturbaum
    • Lynn Applegate: lead vocal, guitar
    • Bob Jackson: banjo, harmony vocal
    • Dan Roberts: mandolin, harmony vocal
    • Alex Sturbaum: guitar

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