Hard Crackers Come Again No More

in Daily Programme, Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 6 June, 2015

Today (Saturday June 6) we’re presenting a programme of folk music from North America on our Main Stream, featuring pieces that go as far back as the 18th century and even beyond.

The show includes some pieces by Stephen Foster (1826–1864), very much the father of American songwriting. One of his most moving songs is the poignant “Hard Times Come Again No More” (see video above). Interestingly, soldiers during the Civil War came up with their own lyrics for this song, which commented on the quality of their rations.

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 and the sigh of the hungry,
“Hard crackers, hard crackers, come again no more!
Many days you lingered upon our stomachs sore,
Oh, hard crackers, come again no more.”

Let us close our game of poker, take our tin cups in hand,
While we gather ‘round the cook’s tent door,
Where dry mummies of hard crackers are given to each man;
“Oh, 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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