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Hard Times Come Again No More - SA and Piano

Hard Times Come Again No More - SA and Piano


In the turbulent times of unrest known as 2020, I sought a hopeful text that would help us remember that brighter days are around the corner. Stephen Foster's words came to mind. Yes, Foster is known for writing minstrel melodies, which I find no longer appropriate to perform. That said, the text in "Hard Times" is reflective of his later life, focusing on writing songs laced with nostalgia–feelings of lost youth, home, and family. There is no dialect, no mention of slavery or other minstrel themes, and the song is described on the cover simply as one of “Foster’s Melodies.” I decided to take his words and set them to an entirely new melody. While maintaining a sense of simplicity in the melodies and harmonic rhythm, the chorus features an increase in tempo, syncopation, and dissonance to highlight the emotional content of the text.


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.


‘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.

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