Hard Times Come Again No More

Album: Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster (1854)

Songfacts®:

  • This popular folk favourite was written by the "father of American music," Stephen C. Foster in 1854. Well-known and popular in its day both in America and Europe, it was a favorite of both sides in the American Civil War.
  • The first audio recording was a wax cylinder by the Edison Company during 1905. It has since been recorded numerous times by singers looking to strike a balance between the celebration of good fortune and sympathy for those who are impoverished. Among the artists who have covered the song are Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, as well as Bruce Springsteen, who performed it live on his 2009 Working on a Dream Tour.
  • The R&B artist Mary J. Blige interpreted the song as a gospel benediction song on the charity telethon, Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief, which was held on January 22, 2010. Her version was inspired by one recorded by former Staple Singers member, the gospel singer Mavis Staples.
  • The song has been parodied many times starting in the American Civil War when "Hard Tack, Come Again No More" or "Hard Crackers, Come Again No More!" was sung as a sarcastic complaint about the quality of some of the provisions provided by military contractors.

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