Hard Times

I’ve been working on this song for a while and it seems particularly appropriate for the times we’re living in at present. It’s an old one, from the mid-1850’s, written by Stephen Foster, and the lyrics (which I do not attempt in this recording) sound timely even after 170 years or so:

’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 my wife and I are able to maintain a “shelter at home” life without too much hardship, there are those who don’t have the ability and others who don’t have the option to minimize their risk. I feel for them and hope that those who are making decisions for our community, state, and nation keep in mind that we are all interdependent and the smart thing to do is to help each other through this. The pandemic is no respecter of social or political boundaries. We are connected in ways both obvious and hidden, and we need to remember that. Besides, taking care of each other, including the least fortunate among us, is the right thing to do.

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A career working with teenagers on the fringes of society has made me both sensitive to and appreciative of the complexities of character and the struggles, inner and outer, that we all wrestle with in one form or another. My writing emphasizes character development over action, and, as a lifelong Southerner, the rhythms and cadence of the Southeastern United States influence both my spoken and written voice.

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