These two Canadian ladies sing [and look] beautiful!! So sad that Kate is no longer with us! Rufus Wainwright, who sings with them on the Ken Burns Civil War documentary is, I believe, Kate's son. Go to YouTube and do a search for "Better Times Are Coming" and you can see and listen to these inspiring musicians.
Does any one know where I can find a simple musical score of the tune along with guitar chords???
Yes, it was a Stephen Foster song. I'm not sure about the date, or even if he wrote verses at different times. All the verses refer to people and events that were prominant very early in the war, with references to Lyon, Baker and Ellsworth, all of whom were killed during the first few months of the war, in 1861, and none of whom played a major role in the war or in Union successes.* The last verse was obviously written after the battle of Hampton Roads between the Monitor and Merrimac [Virginia] which took place March 8, 1862, still quite early in the war. The abscence of any mention of the more prominent heroes of the Union army such as Grant, Sherman, Thomas or Sheridan, would certainly make it probable that it was written early in the war, and was designed to raise flagging morale in the North.
With the Occupy Wall Street/99% movement sweeping the globe, I dashed off a paraphrased version of 3 verses. I thought the movement needed an Anthem, and one that is spirited and rousing and, yet, full of hope and optimism!! Here it is:
[The New] BETTER TIMES ARE COMING
1. There are voices of hope that are borne on the air,
And our land will be freed from it's clouds of despair.
For brave men and women, to the streets they have gone,
And good times, good times, are soon coming on!
CHO: Hurrah! Hurrah! Hurrah!
Sound the news that from the streets is booming!
Tell the people far and wide that better times are coming!
2. From streets and from parks, the message has been sent.
We won't go away, we're the ninety-nine per cent!
Oc-cu-py Wall Street will not die away,
And the darkness now upon us will turn to happy day!
3. Ensler and Hedges and Buffett have it right.
Listen to their voices and join us in the fight!
Alliance For Justice will show us the way,
And they will lead us on to a bright and better day!
As the movement has now spread worldwide, the 3rd verse may need to be dropped or changed if used in other countries besides the U.S.
* E. E. Ellsworth was a young Colonel who organized the famous Fire Zouave regiment for the Union. Recruited heavily from N.Y City fire departments, he outfitted them in colorful Zouave uniforms [blue jackets & baggy red trousers]. He led his regiment across the Potomac R. on May 24, 1861, to occupy Alexandria, VA. Seeing a Confederate flag atop a hotel, he climbed to the roof and tore it down. Descending the stairs, he was shot and killed by the proprietor, and thus became the first casualty of the Union army and was regarded as a martyr.
Edward Baker, born in London, England, had become a U.S. Senator from the new state of Oregon. When the war broke out, he was appointed a Brigadier General, which he never actually accepted. In Pennsylvania, he raised a regiment, and on Oct. 21, 1861, led it in an attack on a Confederate Camp at Leesburg, VA. He was killed at the resulting Battle of Ball's Bluff, Oct. 21, 1861. His death transformed Baker from "an inept commander into a nationnal Hero."
Nathaniel Lyon had graduated from West Point in 1841 and began his army career at that time. He had the "advantage of long army service" [during the Seminole and Mexican wars] "and the disadvantage of a hot temper" and recklessness. His hot-headed nature resulted in his death at the battle of Wilson's Creek, Missouri, regarded as a Confederate victory, on Aug. 10, 1861.