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Hard Times

Around every turn, one sees hard times, for single moms, for fathers and sons, for the poor and the sick. Stephen Foster, the father of American music, author of Oh! Susanna, and My Old Kentucky Home chose not to look away when he wrote Hard Times in 1854. The authors sentiment was understood again in James Taylors voice just recently, with Yo Yo Ma. It is right and healthy to acknowledge the constant pain of life, yet somehow we must reflect always with hope, looking outward. Perhaps, as Elvis Costello sings, we can learn to banish all dismay, extinguish every sorrow. If Im lost or Im forgiven, the birds will still be singing. JB

Hard Times Come No More

by Stephen Foster

Let us pause in lifes pleasures and count its many tears,

While we all sup sorrow with the poor;

Theres 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.

Theres a pale drooping maiden who toils her life away,

With a worn heart whose better days are oer:

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