A happy cow produces more milk, and dairy farmers are therefore increasingly alert to the “calming effect of music on cows”, says Modern Farmer. “Some farmers swear by playing relaxing tunes for their herd for maximum milk results.”
The evidence, writes Anna O’Brien, is both anecdotal and academic.
A 2001 study by the University of Leicester found that “Everybody Hurts” by REM was lactationally heplful, as was Simon & Garfunkel’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. Less effective, apparently, are “Y2K Euro club classics like Mousse T vs Hot N Juicy’s ‘Horny’”.
For some, frankly baffling, reason, researchers appear not to have sought the herd’s response to the Smiths’ “Meat Is Murder”, nor played them the complete works of the San Diego death-metal group Cattle Decapitation.
The Independent newspaper notes, however, that some party-poopers have a less entertaining explanation for bovine musical appreciation – “findings could be attributed to the music drowning out loud mechanical noises consistent with a milking parlour, as opposed to cow’s inherent love of a tender ballad”.