FolkWorld #73 11/2020
© Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hard Times Come Again No More

Stephen Foster

Stephen Foster

Songs That Made History: "Hard Times Come Again No More" (sometimes, "Hard Times") is an American parlor song written by Stephen Foster. It was published in New York by Firth, Pond & Co. in 1854 as Foster's Melodies No. 28. Well-known and popular in its day, both in America and Europe, the song asks the fortunate to consider the plight of the less fortunate and includes one of Foster's favorite images: "a pale drooping maiden".

The first audio recording was a wax cylinder by the Edison Manufacturing Company (Edison Gold Moulded 9120) in 1905. It has been recorded and performed numerous times since. The song is Roud Folk Song Index #2659.

A satirical version about soldier's food was popular in the American Civil War, "Hard Tack Come Again No More".

Molto Bella
»When the director of Molto Bella asked me to write a soundtrack for the film, I wanted to write original songs but also source traditional folk tunes that reflected the tone of the script. Hard Times Come Again No More was the first tune we knew needed to be in the film because the lyrics matched so well with what the two lead characters were going through. Little did I know that the lyrics would also be quite meaningful in the time we are currently living in. Much has changed since we shot this film in Italy and yet, the song is almost more meaningful now. What is great about this song is the juxtaposition of the lyrics pleading that hard times will not come again, as the sad melody leads the listener to believe that hard times never really stop. While this seems grim, it’s a comfort to know that we all go through this together and I hope the song reminds people that they are not alone.« - Andrea von Kampen

Stream/Download @ BandCamp! You can see a teaser trailer that features Hard Times Come Again No More @ IMDB!

Andrea von Kampen

Artist Video Andrea von Kampen @ FROG


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.


"Hard Times Come Again No More" has been included in the following:


Gangstagrass: No Time For Enemies
»This is the most poignant rendition I have ever heard of this classic - 170 years after it was written, this song is still tragically relevant. Gangstagrass magically turns it into an anthem for today.«
- L. Caudell-Feagan

Artist Video Gangstagrass @ FROG

Appalachian Road Show

Appalachian Road Show
»The whole album speaks to the human spirit and the human condition and the trials and tribulations that we all have to endure. We set out to start the record, and then about the time we started to release this record, the COVID-19 epidemic started reaching the top of the national news, and next thing we know, we're living in hard times, trials and tribulations. The opportunity to express your spirit through music, it's a human need. We're lucky to live in times, when we're confined to our house, that we can still reach out to one another with music.«
- Jim VanCleve

Artist Video The Appalachian Road Show

Hard Times Come Again No More

 Listen to  Hard Times Come Again No More  from:
       Appalachian Road Show, Sam Baker, Dale Boyle, The Chieftains, 
       Ronnie Drew & Eleanor Shanley, Peter Funk & Herbert Wegener,
       Gangstagrass, Janette Geri, Karie Oberg, Siusan O’Rourke & 
       Zig Zeitler, Dan Possumato, Rig the Jig, Wheelers & Dealers

 Watch  Hard Times Come Again No More  from:
       An Rinn, De Dannan, Bob Dylan, Gangstagrass, Petter Udland Johansen,
       Andrea von Kampen, Korby Lenker, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, James Taylor

Lyrics (© Mainly Norfolk): Hard Times Come Again No More 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia []. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization.

Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Date: October 2020.

Photo Credits: (1) Stephen Foster, (2)-(3) Andrea von Kampen, (4) Gangstagrass, (6) The Appalachian Road Show (unknown/website); (5) Hard Times Come Again No More (by ABC Notations).

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