Mountain Sun

Mountain Sun

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hard Times

Washington's bipartisan response to joblessness continues down the wrong and damaging road of austerity strategies and budget cuts.  

I can't help but be reminded of Stephen Foster's classic "Hard Times Come Again No More."  Written prior to the American Civil War, the song is frequently treated as a historical piece.   It shouldn't be--the theme of economic despair and extreme disparities between rich and poor is once again the soundtrack to our current American economic folly.   Here are two covers for this remarkable song.  First, Mavis Staples.

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.

Chorus: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.


Another excellent version by the supergroup composed of James Taylor, Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, and Mark O'Connor.  

No comments:

Post a Comment