Frederick John Elgersma (born July 9, 1957), known by the stage name Fred Eaglesmith, is a Canadian alternative country singer-songwriter, one of nine children raised by a farming family in rural Southern Ontario. As a teenager Eaglesmith hopped a freight train out to Western Canada, and began writing songs and performing. He is known for writing songs about machines or vehicles, including songs about trains, tractors, trucks, cars, and engines. Rural life, dogs, guns, drinking and farming/ranching are other common themes. Many of his songs are about failing farms and small businesses. Down and out characters dealing with loss of love or livelihood, and quirky rural folk also populate his songs. His songwriting uses many of the techniques of short story writing, including unreliable narrators, surprise endings, and plot twists.