Monday, September 29, 2008

hard times come again no more

I got to sing and play Saturday night at the same fundraiser I mentioned in my last post. My friend Terry is director of a program called Housing for New Hope, which was one of the recipients of the money raised. He is an amazing harmonica player and asked another church friend, Donna, and me to sit in with him for a couple of songs, one of which was Stephen Foster’s “Hard Times Come Again No More.” The song was written before the Civil War and remains powerful and poignant.

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor.
There's a song that will linger forever in our ears,
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay,
There are frail forms fainting at the door.
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say,
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered on around my cabin door.
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

There's a pale sorrowed maiden who toils her life away
With a worn heart, whose better days are o'er.
Though her voice it would be merry, 'tis sighin' all the day,
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered all around my cabin door.
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
'Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
'Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh, hard times, come again no more.

'Tis the song, the sigh of the weary.
Hard times, hard times, come again no more.
Many days you have lingered all around my cabin door.
Oh, hard times, come again no more.
I’ts not Terry, Donna, and I, but here is a group of folks doing their version.



Peace,
Milton

5 comments:

beth said...

My favorite version of this is Mavis Staples from 'Beautiful Dreamer - The Songs of Stephen Foster'.

Thanks for this post. A little Emmylou is good for the soul - a lot is even better. I had to hit pause on 'Icy Blue Heart' on iTunes to watch your video...

Presbyterian Gal said...

Thought that was Miss Emmylou in there. Thanks.

Tim Sean said...

Thank you thank you Milton for sharing this tune...

Man! How old is Rufus?

paradox35 said...

I've always loved this song - tho I'm more familiar with the James Taylor version. Thanks for sharing. Love, Allie

Towanda said...

thanks for this. i love this song.