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Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'

DigiTrad:
BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE
HARD CRACKERS (Come Again No More)
HARD TIMES (CHEATING)
HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
HARD TIMES IN DIXIE
HARD TIMES OF OLD ENGLAND
HARD, HARD TIMES
TEACHERS' HARD, HARD TIMES


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Lancashire - Short Time (Foster parody) (11)
Lyr Req: Hard Times Come Again No More (Parody) (2)
(origins) Origins: Hard Times not S. Foster's the other one (5)
Hard Times (come again no more)versions (62)
Lyr/Chords Add: Viagra Song: 'Hard times come...' (17) (closed)
Hard Time Come Again No More - recordings (37)
hard times - mcgarrigles (12)
Chords Req: Hard Times Come Again No More (Foster) (21)
Lyr Add: 2 verses of 'Hard Times' (53)
Lyr Req: Hard Times (Come Again No More) (28)
Lyr Req: Hard Times (Mormon version) (5)
Lyr Req: Hard Times Come Again No More (closed) (8) (closed)
Hard Times extra verse source, over and out (17)
Concerning 'Hard Times' verses (10)
Tune Req: Hard Times Come Again No More (harmony) (17)


dani 28 Sep 97 - 05:16 PM
Joe Offer 29 Sep 97 - 03:26 AM
dani 29 Sep 97 - 10:46 AM
Dale Rose 29 Sep 97 - 11:11 AM
Jon W. 29 Sep 97 - 12:48 PM
Songster Bob 29 Sep 97 - 03:58 PM
DrWord 29 Sep 97 - 11:41 PM
Frank Phillips 30 Sep 97 - 01:09 AM
dani 30 Sep 97 - 09:40 AM
dick greenhaus 30 Sep 97 - 12:24 PM
Joe Offer 30 Sep 97 - 04:47 PM
dick greenhaus 30 Sep 97 - 06:21 PM
GaryD 30 Sep 97 - 09:45 PM
Earl 30 Sep 97 - 11:21 PM
Justin 01 Oct 97 - 09:35 AM
dani 01 Oct 97 - 09:51 AM
GaryD 01 Oct 97 - 06:29 PM
01 Oct 97 - 11:03 PM
Earl 02 Oct 97 - 08:46 AM
Dale Rose 11 Dec 97 - 01:40 PM
Big Mick 05 Aug 01 - 06:27 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Aug 01 - 07:48 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM
Stewie 05 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM
Mr Red 06 Aug 01 - 02:28 PM
CRANKY YANKEE 06 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM
Mr Red 06 Aug 01 - 04:25 PM
Mr Red 06 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM
SINSULL 06 Aug 01 - 05:41 PM
Chicken Charlie 06 Aug 01 - 05:49 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 04 Jan 02 - 02:30 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 04 Jan 02 - 02:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Jan 02 - 03:05 PM
masato sakurai 04 Jan 02 - 03:07 PM
masato sakurai 04 Jan 02 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,hrothgar 04 Jan 02 - 07:59 PM
masato sakurai 04 Jan 02 - 08:34 PM
Uncle_DaveO 05 Jan 02 - 11:01 AM
Murray MacLeod 05 Jan 02 - 04:49 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 05 Jan 02 - 08:20 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 17 Jan 02 - 08:41 PM
GUEST,Sonja 17 Jan 02 - 09:59 PM
masato sakurai 17 Jan 02 - 11:58 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jan 02 - 12:00 AM
GUEST,JTT 18 Jan 02 - 07:07 AM
masato sakurai 18 Jan 02 - 07:45 AM
masato sakurai 18 Jan 02 - 08:12 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 18 Jan 02 - 07:44 PM
The Shambles 07 Apr 02 - 06:06 AM
Mr Red 25 Jun 02 - 04:41 PM
GUEST,Ross Miller, Visitor 09 Dec 03 - 01:31 AM
GUEST 09 Dec 03 - 01:45 AM
GUEST,ester 18 May 10 - 01:59 PM
mg 18 May 10 - 10:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 18 May 10 - 11:23 PM
mg 19 May 10 - 03:33 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 19 May 10 - 01:56 PM
LadyJean 19 May 10 - 11:13 PM
Geoff the Duck 20 May 10 - 08:51 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 20 May 10 - 02:09 PM
Geoff the Duck 21 May 10 - 04:34 AM
folktheatre 21 May 10 - 05:28 AM
Joe Offer 16 Nov 10 - 01:58 AM
GUEST,Ana 16 Nov 10 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,squeezer17 16 Nov 10 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Ana 17 Nov 10 - 12:03 AM
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Subject: Background: StephenFoster song
From: dani
Date: 28 Sep 97 - 05:16 PM

At the risk of receiving far more than I give... I have another query. I'm hoping that someone who knows Stephen Foster stuff can help me find some background info on a Foster song: Hard Times. It's in RUS, I understand, but I was hoping for some dimensional knowledge. Whose hard times is he referring to? Whose cabin? Who is that pale form fainting at the door? Thanks, Dani


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 03:26 AM

Well, the words are in the database, but for some reason, I can't access this one song. I've searched under [Hard Times] and [Come Again No More]. The song comes up both times, but without a clickable link so I can access the lyrics (this is only on the online version - the song can be accessed on the PC version). Max? Dick?
-Joe-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry:

Hard Times Come Again No More

DESCRIPTION: "Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears While we all sup sorrow with the poor." The singer describes sad people suffering from poverty, and begs, "Hard times, come again no more."
AUTHOR: Stephen C. Foster
EARLIEST DATE: 1854 (broadside, LOCSheet sm1854 760350)
KEYWORDS: poverty hardtimes
FOUND IN: US Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (4 citations):
Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 588, "Hard Times Come Again No More"; Wiltshire-WSRO Mi 589, "Hard Times Come Again No More" (2 texts)
WolfAmericanSongSheets, #852, p. 57, "Hard Times Come Again No More" (1 reference)
Emerson, pp. 86-87, "Hard Times Come Again No More" (1 text)
DT, HRDTIMES*

Roud #2659
RECORDINGS:
Edison Quartette, "Hard Times Come Again No More" (CYL: Edison 9120, 1905)
L. M. Hilton, "Hard Times Come Again No More [Mormon version]" (on Hilton01)

BROADSIDES:
Bodleian, Harding B 11(866)[few words missing or illegible], "Hard Times Come Again No More" ("Let us pause in life [sic] pleasures and count its many tears"), J.B. Hodge (Sunderland), 1850-1861; also Harding B 11(3352), Harding B 11(1477), Harding B 11(1478), Harding B 11(1479), Firth c.16(246), Harding B 11(1687) , Harding B 11(1686), "Hard Times Come Again No More"
LOCSheet, sm1854 760350, "Hard Times Come Again No More", Firth, Pond, & Co. (New York), 1854; also sm1882 21586, "Hard Times Come Again No More" (tune)
LOCSinging, as105130, "Hard Times Come Again No More" ("While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay"), Firth, Pond, & Co. (New York), no date; also as105130, sb20165b, "Hard Times Come Again No More"

SAME TUNE:
Hard Crackers, Come Again No More (cf. Spaeth, _A History of Popular Music in America_, p. 116)
Sad Times. The Burning of the Steamboat New Jersy, on the Delaware, Night of March 15, 1856. Sixty-Two Persons Hurried into Eternity by Water and by Fire (by Ned Buntline) (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 138)
Sorrow Shall Come Again No More ("What to me are earth's pleasures, and what its flowing tears") (WolfAmericanSongSheets p. 148)
NOTES: It is perhaps more a comment on the folk revival than on this song to note that it is easily the most popular Foster song with revival singers. It wasn't especially popular at the time, and Spaeth (A History of Popular Music in America, p. 116) regards it as an "adequate potboiler."
According to notes in Deems Taylor et al, A Treasury of Stephen Foster, Random House, 1946, p. 19, "Stephen once told his brother, Morrison, that Oh! Boys, Carry Me 'Long, and Hard Times Come Again No More were based on snatches of Negro melodies he heard in a Negro church to which he was taken in childhood by the family nurse, Olivia Pise. They are the only songs in which Foster admittedly used actual Negro material."
Ken Emerson, Doo-Dah! Stephen Foster and the Rise of American Popular Culture, Da Capo, 1997?, p. 29, notes that Stephen Foster's parents lost their home very early in Foster's life, and suggests that "Foster would compose so many songs about home in part because he seldom knew one for long." - RBW
Last updated in version 3.5
File: DThrdtim

Go to the Ballad Search form
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Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Click here for sheet music at the Levy Sheet Music Collection - published 1854.
There's an answer song, Better Times Are Coming Bye and Bye, published in 1896.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: dani
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 10:46 AM

Thanks, Joe. I actually know the words, and can sing it (unlike most of the things I ask y'all's help with). I was hoping to find out maybe when it was written, what hard times he was referring to, etc. It fits the theme of a project I'm working on, but I want to offer some depth to the choice if I can, with some knowledge about the song.

Guess what I discovered! I now have speakers and can play MIDI files. This is just too exciting for me! Isn't this stuff COOL?!

Dani


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dale Rose
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 11:11 AM

I know of a book about Stephen Foster which includes the words, music, and background to a number of his songs. I have to confess to not having read it all; I was just entering the information into the music data base at the Ozark Cultural Resource Center. Unless someone beats me to it, (that's OK!) I will look into it the next time I am up there.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Jon W.
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 12:48 PM

This link will take you to a summary of a biography of Stephen Foster written by his brother and published in 1896. The summary gives background for a couple of songs, but unfortunately not Hard Times. The book is reported to have the background of 160+ songs, if anyone has a copy of it.

Hard Times is my favorite of Foster's songs I've heard so far. It can relate to anyone's hard times. It was a particular favorite of the Mormon pioneers (my heritage) and they made many versions of it, some serious and some parodies.

BTW, isn't it "FRAIL forms fainting by the door"? I always assumed this line referred to slaves, who certainly wouldn't have been "pale." I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Songster Bob
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 03:58 PM

My assumption is the "hard times" was referring to the constant and recurring cycle of boom and bust which the 19th Century was particularly vulnerable to, and to the fact that most times, the poorest people didn't ever get much from the boom times, but went bust fastest when the balloon burst. History books are replete with references to "the panic of 18xx." Those panics were the result of a lot of factors, of course, but unrestricted capitalism and the prevalence of speculators, adventurers and a good number of frauds were a big part of the cause. For a different folk song connection to these mercantile matters, look up the history of "Oleanna." That project was an attempt to set up a colony -- or at least settlement -- in Pennsylvania (I think), where the land being purchased by Ole Bull, champion fiddler and would-be benefactor, was in fact not owned by the sellers, who ripped Ole off and left the settlement high and dry. At least, that's the way I heerd it!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: DrWord
Date: 29 Sep 97 - 11:41 PM

I have a lovely "sesquicentennial" edition of 39 Foster tunes which are reproductions of the sheet music. The date on Hard Times is 1854. Cheers :) Dennis


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Frank Phillips
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 01:09 AM

I picked up a 1946 Random House Book called "A Treasury of Stephen Foster" in Coeur d'Alene this summer. It says that Hard Times is the second of 2 songs based on fragments of folk songs that he heard as a child in the Negro church where the family nurse, Olivia Pise, worshipped. The other was "Oh boys carry me 'long" published July 1851. Hard Times was published in January 1855. The book also says that Foster used to sing the song in a state of semi-inebriation when the poverty of his later years made it applicable to his own state.

I thought this book was a real "find" until I started searching the music sections of the used book stores here in Calgary. 2 of them had copies. Seems it must have been widely distributed.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: dani
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:40 AM

You're absolutely right. I mixed up my 'frail forms fainting at the door' with the 'pale drooping maiden who toils her life away'.

Thanks so much! Since I learned this song I've found myself singing it to myself in moments of unfounded self-pity. Love to think of Foster singing it to himself, though I do feel sorry for him.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 12:24 PM

Joe- The reason that the database won't produce Hard Times is an example of the inflexibility of computers. When you click on the title, the program looks for the first line of the song's file--and we, through practiced incompetence, headed the file with a blank line. It will be fixed in the next edition (late October, I think). And thanx for pointing it out. dick


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Joe Offer
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 04:47 PM

Hi, Dick - I've noticed a few others like that, that I can't access. Do you need us to point them out to you when we find them, or should the October edition fix them all?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 06:21 PM

Please. Please. Y'all may not realize it, but you've all been co-opted as unpaid proofreaders. All corrections and error notices most gratefully accepted.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: GaryD
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 09:45 PM

Hi people!..I came across the song sung on the PBS Civil War Song Special sung by the McGarrigle (sic?) families..I went nuts over the song..and their version..especially the harmony on the Refrain..Heard some other sad things about Foster..he died in abject poverty and alcohol with songs he couldn't even give away..but we'd give plenty today!. .So, Dick!,...How can I bring up the words? I want to sing it at next Jam!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Earl
Date: 30 Sep 97 - 11:21 PM

If you need the words in a hurry, click here: Hard Times Come Again No More


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Justin
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 09:35 AM

No one mentioned DeDannon's version (Mary Black), which is my favorite. I've heard that, in his last years, Foster wandered from bar to bar singing for drinks and his most requested song was, "Hard Times".


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE (S Foster)
From: dani
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 09:51 AM

HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
Stephen Foster

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
O, 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
O, 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
Tho' her voice would be merry, 'tis sighing all the day
O, 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
O, Hard Times, come again no more

While we seek mirth and beauty and music bright and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door
Tho' their voices are silent, their pleading looks still say
O, Hard Times, come again no more

A - E A D / A A E A - ://

Chorus:
A - D A / - - A B E /


    I compared these lyrics with those in the DT today. The Rise Up Singing songbook has verses in the order that Dani posted, but sheet music at Levy and my Treasury of Stephen Foster uses the order shown in the Digital Tradition. The DT lyrics are identical to what I found on the sheet music.
    -Joe Offer, 25 Sept 2003-


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: GaryD
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 06:29 PM

Thanks for the words Earl & Dani!..Earl, How do you lay down the address here so that people can just click on it to go there?..That's neat! I can hardly wait to crack out the guitar & try my hand at this one...


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From:
Date: 01 Oct 97 - 11:03 PM

I cannot add much. The book we have at the OCRC is A Treasury of Stephen Foster as mentioned by Frank, and he covered the information rather nicely. As far as versions go, there are many good ones, but my favorite is by Jennifer Warnes.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Earl
Date: 02 Oct 97 - 08:46 AM

Gary, Check the thread "Basic HTML Commands for Dummies" for instructions on adding addresses and other features to your messages.

By the way, I like Dylan's version of "Hard Times Come Again No More."


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Subject: RE: Hard Times Come Again No More
From: Dale Rose
Date: 11 Dec 97 - 01:40 PM

Just moving this up where Uli can find it easier. Note too, that I have switched favorite versions. On Sunday I heard Maura O'Connell,Mary Black, Elanor Shanley, and Tommy Fleming sing it with DeDannan on the Gael Force TV special on PBS. Thrilling performance! Here in Arkansas, at least, it is scheduled for a repeat at 10PM tonight on AETN. Performers also include The Chieftains, Sinead O'Connor,Leahy, Carlos Nunez, Christy Moore, Altan, Sharon Shannon, Clannad, Ashley Mac Isaac and the Riverdance troupe.

The video is available for anyone who is interested at: http://www.psnw.com/~gforce/

. . . Or, in the United States, you can pledge $60-$200 or so to your local PBS station, and get various combinations of cassette, CD, and VHS FREE!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Big Mick
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 06:27 PM

If you want to hear an excellent CD, with an excellent version of this song, get "Music From The Mountain". It is a collaboration of Tim O'Brien, and two other fella's whose names escape me. I will look them up. The CD is a collection of the music mentioned in the book "Cold Mountain". These folks were faithful to the interpretations and they are excellent. Probably the only beef I have with "Hard Times" is that they cut some verses. But it is excellent otherwise. Wonderful song.

All the best,

Big Mick


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 07:48 PM

www.stephen-foster-songs.de is a beautiful site with many of Foster's songs. He wrote a number of songs about sad happenings such as leaving, and dying and "Hard Times" is one of them. He may have had no particular event in mind. Maybe he didn't get paid by the Christie Minstrels for whom he wrote several pieces and couldn't buy a supply of the good old stuff..


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 07:58 PM

I just counted the Foster songs, both midis and text, and there are about 200 on www.stephen-foster-songs.de. Looked at and listened to "Old Dog Trey." Sob!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Stewie
Date: 05 Aug 01 - 08:02 PM

For a moment I thought Dale was back, but then I saw the date before Mick's posting.

There's an interesting early recording of the song on the first volume of the excellent 2-CD Yazoo set: Various Artists 'Hard Times Come Again No More: Early American Rural Songs of Hard Times and Hardships - Classic Recordings from 1920s and 30s' Yazoo 2036. It is by the Graham Brothers, about whom no information is given - probably because nothing is known. It sounds a bit odd after the versions we are used to hearing - there is piano backing and the chorus is sung in quite a sprightly manner, almost jauntily. They dispense with the 'poor drooping maiden' stanza. In his notes, Charles Wolfe points out 'Hard Times' was penned during the recession of 1854 - six years before the Civil War and, as the years wore on, farmers, factory workers, railroad men and even cowboys felt the anger and frustration of economic hardship, and many responded to it with songs. This and other Yazoo compilations in its 2000 series are well worth seeking out with their mixture of songs from both black and white traditions.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 02:28 PM

Well I did read the book by his brother and a biography by someone or other and the genesis for Hard Times was Charles Dickens' book.
Dickens was taken ill in Pitsburgh (or nearby) whilst on a tour of readings. The Doctor was sent for and he just happened to be the doctor or great uncle or somesuch of SCF. The Doctor wheedled an interview for SCF because he was mad keen on Dickens. SCF lived in Allegheny County.
SCF is reputed to have sold several versions of Hard Times for booze money whilst he lived in the Bowrie in NY.
I know two singers who sing verses that are not in the copyrighted published version by SCF's normal publishers. The music room at the Bodleain did not have the other version. I will post as soon as I find them.
I did send a disk to Dick G about 5 years or more ago as I was not netified then.
I don't think they made it to the DT. Not by 1999 anyways.
Big Mick the cut verses may well have been the ones he sold later!!!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: CRANKY YANKEE
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 02:46 PM

Cindy Pelequin, an old friend (she's not old) got me to take a second look at Steven Foster's songs, and I'm forever in her debt for that. I never paid much attention to his stuff, as most often you'll only find the first verse in song collections. But, I went past "first verses" and found his stuff to be extremely progresive for the times. My old Kentucky home, for instance, is a very sad song, I wonder if the people who run the "Kentucky Derby" ever read the lyrics. They play it with such a happy flair.

I read somewhere that Mr Foster sang "Hard Times Come Again No More" more than any other in his performances.
I never read anywhere that he was a drunk.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE (Foster)
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 04:25 PM

SCF died from falling on glass and bleeding to death. He was ill at the time, it is assumed he was spending his money on booze rather than food and he was weak from that. BUT it is open to interpretation. I did see his address and it was the Bowrie which was for people with little money, drunkards and whores etc etc. One verse is at Sidmouth with John & Pauline but the other spurious verse and transcript is :-

HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
(Stephen Collins Foster)

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.
chorus
'Tis a 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.

Let us pause in life's pleasures and count its many tears.
While we all sup sorrows with the poor.
There's a song that will linger for ever in our ears.
Oh! Hard times come again no more. chorus

There's a pale and drooping maiden who toils her life away
With a worn heart whose better day are o'er
Though her voice would be merry tis sighing all the day.
Oh! Hard times come again no more. chorus

'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
'Tis a wail heard upon the shore
'Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh! Hard times come again no more. chorus

The full words, as copyrighted by Steven Collins Foster on the 17 January 1855
the "Hard Times" are inspired by Charles Dickens (they did meet)

any other alleged S C Foster lyrics are a) apochrophal
b) sold for booze under another name c) the folk process
UK wags add spontaneous chorus of "Thar She Blows" after line 2 verse 4

verse from Pete & Stevie Geoghegan, who reckon Irish variants abound viz.

O the cotton tops are withered and the cornstalks buried deep
In this land that's waiting for the rain,
And the children are so hungry, they cry themselves to sleep
Not knowing if they'll wake again.

CIB


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 05:32 PM

more of my notes
Hard times
17 January 1855 and printed by Firth Pond, Broadway New York. It is often reckoned that the "Hard Times" title is in honour of Charles Dickens' novel, and in response to the 1840's recession.
Steven Foster lived in Allegheny, Pennsylvania and visited Charles Dickens on March 31st 1842 in a Pittsburgh hotel (at the age of 16) with his father.
Steven Foster eventually married the daughter of Dr Andrew McDowell the doctor who attended Dickens in Pittsburgh.(Jane McDowell was the "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair".)

Gentle Annie
Gentle Annie was written two weeks after the death of Anne Evans daughter of Cadwallader Evans who was first cousin of Eliza Foster. (Steven Foster's mother). It is reckoned that Steven Foster probably wrote "Gentle Annie" in response to his favourite cousins protracted illness and death. However, it is on record that Steven Foster told Morgan Jenkins that he wrote it as a response to the death of Morgan Jenkin's little daughter. Jenkins was a grocer in Federal St Allegheny, Pennsylvania and Annie Jenkins was a happy healthy child who died suddenly. Steven Foster lived and was buried in Allegheny County.


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Subject: ADD: Dark Times Cease Forever More
From: SINSULL
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 05:41 PM

From "The English Songbook" by Harold Scott (1926) comes the claim that "Dark Times Cease Forever More" with painfully similar lyrics and the exact same tune was written by a pastoral laborer who was laid aside by paralysis and warned not to speak. When his voice returned, he burst into song and dedicated it to Queen Victoria in 1866. It is said to be Number 1 in a series of bridal songs????

Dark Times Cease Forever More

Lay aside religion's pleasures and count its many tears
While we all share sorrow with the poor.
There's a plaint sounding loudly forever in our ears-
Oh! Dark Times! Cease forever more!

CHORUS:
'Tis the wail, the sigh of the weary
Dark Times! Dark Times! Come again no more!
Dark Times! Come again no more!

Tho' in holiness and beauty we worship night and day
There are frail forms fainting at our door,
With a cry never silent and pleading looks we say
Oh! Dark Times! Cease for evermore!
CHORUS



The folk process in action or outright plagiarism?


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 06 Aug 01 - 05:49 PM

Re. Hard Times. This was written in reference to a financial panic, not to slavery; the song was revived during the Civil War, but originally did not refer to it.

The "frail forms fainting at the door" were simply the masses of unemployed looking for food. There is a close parallel, I believe, to the Dickens novel of the same title. See Mr. Red's post.

Cranky Y: Foster died in an alcoholic stupor. I'll refrain from returning your past complement to me and telling you that you are as usual full of ----.

CC


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Subject: ADD: Sorrow Shall Come Again No More
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:30 PM

SORROW SHALL COME AGAIN NO MORE

What to me are earth's pleasures, and what its flowing tears?
What are all the sorrows I deplore?
There's a song ever swelling, still lingers on my ears,
Oh. sorrow shall come again no more!

Chorus:
'Tis a song from the home of the weary,
Sorrow, sorrow is forever o'er,
Happy now, ever happy on Canaan's peaceful shore,
Oh, sorrow shall come again no more!

I seek not earthly glory, nor mingle with the gay;
I court not this world's gilded store;
There are voices now calling from the bright realms of day,
Oh, sorrow shall come again no more!

Though here I'm sad and drooping, and weep my life away,
With a lone heart still clinging to the shore,
Yet I hear happy voices, which ever seem to say,
Oh, sorrow shall come again no more!

'Tis a note that is wafted across the troubled wave;
'Tis a song that I've heard upon the shore;
'Tis a sweet thrilling murmur around the Christian's grave;
Oh, sorrow shall come again no more!

'Tis the loud pealing anthem- the victor's holy song,
Where the strife and the conflict are o'er;
Where the saved ones forever, in joyous notes prolong,
Oh, sorrow shall come again no more!

@religion @hymn

From: A Collection of Sabbath School Hymns. Compiled By A Sabbath School Teacher, for the Benefit of the Children in the Confederate States. Raleigh, NC, 1863.

Interesting questions are raised by this song. It would seem to be based on Stephen C. Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," which has an earlier date of publication. On the other hand, this 1863 printing may be a late one of this unattributed hymn that could have been the inspiration for Foster. Logic would place Foster's version first, but perhaps more investigation is required.
The complete book is in the North Carolina University website:
http://docsouth.unc.edu/imls/sabbath/sabbath.html
See Here for more discussion.
Thankfully, the DT version is Foster's, free of added verses by others. Like Murray MacLeod, I believe this composition should remain pristine. Verses used by others, of course, may be added as separate versions, kept apart from the original to avoid contamination. Hrrumph!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 02:38 PM

Left out a digit on my click to another thread.
Here


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:05 PM

I always think of the Irish Potato Famine when I sing it or hear it, in the first place. Cabins and all.

Given the date it was published, that could well have been in Stephen Foster's mind too. There were enough refugees from the famine around. But it might have as well been some American hard times, and probably was. And it's as topical now as ever. Here's a story from today's Guardian, for example.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 03:07 PM

Dicho, the song was directly inspired by "Hard Times." The tune itself is "Hard Times". The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music has the sheet music (CLICK HERE). The description is:

Title: [Foster-Hall Reproductions]. The Anniversary And Sunday School Music Book. Number Five. Sorrow Shall Come Again No More.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words by W.K., from "Choral Hymn Book." Music by S.C. Foster. Arr. by A. Cull.
Publication: New York: Horace Waters, No.333 Broadway, 1859]..
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: What to me are earth's pleasures, And what its flowing tears?
First Line of Chorus: 'Tis a song from the home of the weary
Subject: Biblical references
Subject: Religion
Subject: Death
Call No.: Box: 070 Item: 009

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 07:29 PM

There's a "succesor" to "Hard Times" in Levy (CLICK HERE):

Title: Better Times Are Coming Bye and Bye. A Song of the Times for the People. A Successor to the Famous Old Ballad Hard Times Come Again No More.
Composer, Lyricist, Arranger: Words and Music by Will C. Carleton.
Publication: New York: Carleton Cavanagh & Co., 1896.
Form of Composition: strophic with chorus
Instrumentation: piano and voice
First Line: There are times when trouble's shadows seem to hover 'round our door
First Line of Chorus: Better times are coming bye and bye, the sun will chase the shadows from the sky
Dedicatee: Respectfully Inscribed to Miss Belle Low, Athens, N.Y.
Engraver, Lithographer, Artist: unattrib. photo of unidentified woman
Advertisement: ads on back cover for Carleton Cavanagh & Co. stock
Subject: Portraits
Subject: Optimism
Subject: Comfort
Call No.: Box: 140 Item: 041

~Masato


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Subject: Lyr Add: HARD CRACKERS, COME AGAIN NO MORE
From: GUEST,hrothgar
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 07:59 PM

From the Union side in the (US) Civil War when the rations weren't all that attractive:

HARD CRACKERS, COME AGAIN NO MORE

Let us close our game of poker, take our tin cups in hand,
While we all gather round the cook's tent door,
Wher dry mummies of hard crackers are given to each man:
Oh! hard crackers, come again no more!

CHORUS: 'Tis the song and the sigh of the hungry,
"Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more!
Many days have you lingered upon our stomachs sore,
Oh, hard crackers, come again no more!"

There's a hungry, thirsty soldier, who wears his life away,
With torn clothes, whose better days are o'er,
He is sighing now for whiskey, and with throat as dry as hay,
Sings "Hard crackers, come again no more!"

'Tis the song that is uttered in camp by night and day,
'Tis the wail that is mingled with each snore;
'Tis the sighing of the soul for spring chickens far away,
"Oh, hard crackers come again no more!"


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 04 Jan 02 - 08:34 PM

"Hard Crackers" is in the DT (CLICK HERE).


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 11:01 AM

Hard Crackers is evidently another of those DT entries which was accidentally begun with a blank line, and thus can't be searched. It is to be hoped that the elves will fix this one, as they've fixed other similarly impaired entries.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for your agreement, Dicho, I am still of the same opinion but let's not stir up another hornet's nest !

Next thing we know, someone will refresh the "World's Best Guitarist" thread, or even, Heaven forbid, the "Gay Hijackers" ..........

Murray


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 05 Jan 02 - 08:20 PM

Murray, when I posted that, misgivings did hit me- I suddenly thought that another thread or 3 on "The Folk Process" might start up.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE (Mormon song)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 08:41 PM

Lyr Add: BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE
(or - Brigham's Hard Times Come Again No More)

I will sing of the Mormons, the people of the Lord,
Since the time that Joseph prayed for light,
And the Way they've been guided by Jesus' holy light,
And saved by power of his might.

Chorus:
'Tis the song, the sigh of the Mormons,
Hard times, hard times long have pressed us sore;
Many days they have lingered around our cabin door,
But now we've brighter days in store.

Each time that the wicked have tried to overthrow
And to bring the work of God to naught,
The way has been opened for the Saints of God to escape,
A ram in the thicket was caught.

The grasshoppers, crickets, and mobbers all combined
Were powerless to crush our noble cause.
The more we are hated, the more we are maligned,
The more the church of Jesus grows.

Mormon Songs From The Rocky Mountains, ed. by Thomas E. Cheney, 1968 (1981), p. 91-92. This song published by Fife (1947) and others. Recorded by Columbia Records, Mormon Legacy.
@religion @hard times


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: GUEST,Sonja
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 09:59 PM

I saw Stephen Foster biography on PBS last year. It had some history on this and others of his songs. Maybe it's available for rental. The PBS website could probably tell you.

BTW, there's a parody (about Viagra) called "Hard Times Come Again Once More" that was posted in the forum last year, too.

Sonja


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jan 02 - 11:58 PM

BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE is in the DT.
~Masato


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 12:00 AM

Well, I sure missed on that one!


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:07 AM

Since Foster's background was Irish, and he was writing just after the recurrent Irish famines of the 1840s, when blight and colorado beetle repeatedly destroyed the food crop eaten by tenants in Ireland whose other crops went to pay their rent (*pace* Hobsbaum), I assume that this is the source of Foster's imagery - America was flooded with the desperate, starving people of Ireland, the survivors exported by brutal landlords like Lord Leitrim at the time.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:45 AM

Other parodies:

George Bush, Come Again No More

Red Tape Come Again No More

~Masato


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: masato sakurai
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 08:12 AM

The second link above should have been:

Red Tape Come Again No More


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Subject: Lyr Add: DITCHES BREAK AGAIN NO MORE (Mormon song)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Jan 02 - 07:44 PM

DITCHES BREAK AGAIN NO MORE

Oh, how well do I remember, when thoughts of bygone days-
How those memories are bringing ever near,
When I sit and muse and ponder, I feel somewhat amazed
As those memories are ringing in my ears.

'Tis the song and the prayer of the people:
Ditches, ditches, break again no more;
Many times we have mended places in which you broke before.
O, ditches, break that way no more.

I remember when my father, returning home at night,
And my mother greets him at the door;
I can see her old long dresses a dragging on the floor;
O, dresses, drag that way no more.

You can see my mother old and weary,
With her dresses dragging on the floor;
Many days she dragged those dresses 'round the cabin door;
O, dresses, drag that way no more.

Mormon Songs from the Rocky Mountains, ed. T. E. Cheney, pp. 153-154, composed by Moses E. Gifford. Looks like 2 lyrics put together to the Hard Times music.
@mormon
Requested in 1997 Mormon Songs
Hope this one isn't in DT somewhere.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: The Shambles
Date: 07 Apr 02 - 06:06 AM

I was interested in this song so I wondered if there was any discussion on earlier threads, and there was indeed. I am now much wiser. Many thanks to all those who have contributed (and are yet to).


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: Mr Red
Date: 25 Jun 02 - 04:41 PM

Just got the extra verse as sung by John & Pauline Franks (Worcester UK) who just learned it like we all do at times - aurally. Not one of SCF's or one he sold in his own name anyway.

Now we don't hear the banjo ring out it's merry tune
In our cabin at the break of day.
And no more will we gather at night beneath the moon
To dance all our cares away.


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Subject: RE: Background: Stephen Foster song
From: GUEST,Ross Miller, Visitor
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 01:31 AM

I was searching for the lyrics, found this thread, and am much the wiser, thanks to you all.

The first two lines of the third stanza -

'Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave 'Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore

- lend credence to those who have suggested that the song is about the plight of the Irish during the potato famine.

The "sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave" implies news of distress from the homeland, and the "wail that is heard upon the shore" refers to the exodus to America. "The troubled wave" means the Atlantic Ocean, by virtue of the literary device synecdoche, which substitutes the part for the whole. Between England and America, it certainly had been a troubled bit of water in Foster's lifetime.

Thanks for the perspective, folks.

RM


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster song
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Dec 03 - 01:45 AM

I've always thought of the potato famine in connection with the lyrics.What about the music though? It reminds me of The Wearing of the Green .


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: GUEST,ester
Date: 18 May 10 - 01:59 PM

what is the history of this song


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: mg
Date: 18 May 10 - 10:43 PM

I have also heard of the connection to the potato famine (and no I will not call it the Great Hunger). The pale drooping maiden verse especially was supposed to describe the young Irish girls.

And as for what Big Red posted in 2002...it sounds like they took a verse from Swanee River and tacked it on to hard times..

Or was it Old Kentucky Home..
from memory..they hunt no more for the possum and the coon by the river the hill and the shore..they sing no more by the rising of the moon on the bench by the old cabin door..

No..it was Swaneee River. Well, it is not that similar I guess..mg


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 May 10 - 11:23 PM

Biographers believe the song (published 1855) refers to the hard times Foster was experiencing at the time. Both parents died in 1855, he was in debt and had to withdraw money from his publishers, his friend Charles Shirra had died in 1853, and for a time he was separated from his Jane.
Also hard times on the American labor scene.
Nothing to do with the potato famine or any events in the British Isles.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: mg
Date: 19 May 10 - 03:33 AM

SO what do pale drooping maidens have to do with personal debt or parents dying? mg


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 19 May 10 - 01:56 PM

Poetic license. And shed a tear for "those frail forms fainting at the door."
Typical mid-19th C. parlor song weepery.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: LadyJean
Date: 19 May 10 - 11:13 PM

Stephen Collins Foster was from Pittsburgh, and we're rather proud of him here. Get in touch with the Pennsylvania room at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, or the University of Pittsburgh, they have a large collection of Foster's artifacts.

At one of the last Smoky City Folk Festivals we had a magnificent downpour, and the last diehards took refuge under the bridge at Point Park, where the accoustics are amazing. As the rain poured and the thunder roared the musicians played and we all sang "Hard Times Come Again No More". It was wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 20 May 10 - 08:51 AM

You might find it interesting to check out this link - Stepen Foster's Sketchbook - hand written notes.

It makes interesting reading, with his ideas and crossings out.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 20 May 10 - 02:09 PM

GtD, the link comes up systems error. You might try again tomorrow, probably the library is having a bit of computer trouble.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Geoff the Duck
Date: 21 May 10 - 04:34 AM

It didn't seem to like going direct to an image of a page, or maybe I managed to scramble the link. Try this one http://images.library.pitt.edu/cgi-bin/i/image/image-idx?c=sketchbook - hopefully you will get to the intro page.
Quack!
GtD.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: folktheatre
Date: 21 May 10 - 05:28 AM

As Dicho noted (I found this in a biography of Stephen Foster):
In 1863 Stephen wrote twenty-nine songs for "The Atheneum Collection of Hymns and Tunes for Church and Sunday School Use," published by Horace Waters. Most of these "hymns" are feeble little tunes, undistinguished
by either beauty or force of character. As a writer of Sunday-School hymns, Stephen Foster was not superior to his contemporaries whose very names are now forgotten. Several songs in the Atheneum Collection were reprinted later in similar volumes, and some of his best-known melodies were fitted to sacred (1) words. "Hard Times Come Again No More" was converted to "Sorrow Shall Come Again No More".


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 01:58 AM

This is Jon Boden's Folk Song a Day recording for November 16.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: GUEST,Ana
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 04:41 AM

Ironically I was reading an immigrant ship journal today, dated 1863 (UK - NZ), which included this reference (shows the song was popular in the UK in the early 60s):

"We have now been two months or eight weeks out of sight of land; and as I tread the deck of our lonely bark, how often the words of the song occur to me.

        While the waves are round me breaking,
        As I pace the deck alone,
        And my eye is vainly seeking,
        Some green leaf to rest upon,
        What would I not give to wander,
        Where my old companions dwell.
        Absence makes the heart grow fonder,
Verily I may sing with a vengeance, for I have good cause 'Hard times come again no more'."

Isle of Beauty, Fare-thee-well (click)


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: GUEST,squeezer17
Date: 16 Nov 10 - 06:07 PM

Q, wasn't it published in January 1855? If so, it was possibly written in 1854, before the death of his parents. So when it came out, far from coming again no more, hard times were just about to hit him.


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Subject: RE: Background: StephenFoster's 'Hard Times'
From: GUEST,Ana
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 12:03 AM

Hey! thanks for the clicky - I didn't take the notes very well sorry (it was initially just for me), and the "hard times" reference comes later in the journal, within the paragraph

"Cooking, beyond what is done by the ship is not an easy matter; a
small frying or stew pan would have been very handy. We had some
strange messes to avoid eating the biscuits. What would some of our
honest Scotch folk that can always get plenty of flour, think of a
mixture of flour, thick pea-soup and steeped biscuits, baked into
scones and without baking soda. Verily I may sing with a vengeance,
for I have good cause "Hard times come again no more".
Ana


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