Hard Times Come Again No More

My dear brother Martyn and I chatted this afternoon about the "sad songs"  which sustain us in the time of grief.

For Martyn it has been  "All Over the World", as sung by Francois Hardy


For me it has been "Somewhere Along the Road"  as sung by Steeeleye Span



There's another "sad song" which came to mind today.  It is "Hard Times Again No More", written by the great American song writer Stephen Foster  wrongly accused (in my opinion) of being a racist on account of his song "Swanee River". .  I think that he was a romantic, he never visited the South).

Stephen Foster

Here is the text of "Hard Times Again No More"

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


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


There's a pale sorrowed maiden who toils her life away
With a worn heart whose better days are o'er
Though her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day
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


Here it is as sung by Thomas Hampson, accompanied by Jay Ungar, Molly Mason and David Alpher.


My late friend the Revd. Dr. C. Michael Thornburg introduced me to "Hard Times Come Again No More"


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