A Song From My Past

February 1, 2013 | My Jottings

I love how music attaches itself in our brains and never lets go. When we can’t find our keys, remember where that important paper was filed, or recall a person’s name, a song from our past can be heard and every lyric is instantly there. At least that’s the way it is for me.

Below you’ll find a song I played at least 437 times on my car stereo when I was about 22-23 years old. My marriage had suddenly ended and I found myself in straits I hadn’t foreseen. The Lord was faithful to me and to my two little girls and our needs were met, but I remember sort of putting one foot in front of the other during that season, and hoping the emotional hard times would soon ease.

So this old song sung by Jennifer Warnes spoke to my heart back then, and I used to drive my green VW Rabbit on the crowded Southern California freeway system, early to work in the morning and then home again in the evening, singing along with everything in me. When I heard this song today for the first time in years, every single word came back, almost like I’d written it myself. It was really composed by Stephen Foster, and I’m sure the hard times he was talking about were so much worse than anything I’ve ever experienced. But I do believe that this song could be the plaintive anthem of so many hurting people.

You can click here and it will open a new window so you can play it. Then you can just come back to this window to read the lyrics if you like, as the song plays.

Hard Times by Stephen Foster

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears,
While we all share 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.


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Have a good weekend everyone…


  1. Helen in Switzerland says:

    hehehe…had to laugh…I had the very same car, but in a dusty blue. Are you sure you aren’t my missing twin?

  2. Just Julie says:

    How funny Helen! What year was yours? I’ll bet mine was a little older – a 1978! xxoo

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