Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lennon & Maisy Perform "Hard Times Come Again No More"

"The Father of American Music" Stephen Foster's song appears on Divided & United: The Songs of the Civil War (along with three of his others), but played by Chris Hillman (with a bit more gravitās I must say).

The above is the highest quality version I could find, and it speaks volumes that a song written in 1854, almost eight score years ago, still speaks to two young sisters and their Grand Ole Opry audience. (They're almost as adorable as this Aussie lass posted on these pages — Taylor Pfeiffer Performs "My Daddy Was a Yodeling Cowboy".)

I started to learn this song for my Gretsch G9460 Dixie 6-String Banjo. A song that asks us to "sup sorrow with the poor" seems especially appropriate this time of year:
    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 drooping 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.
Could this be the greatest American song ever written?

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