I thought I’d start a feature of some Depression-era songs, if only to remind me that it could still be a lot worse. The song I wanted to feature first, though–“Hard Times Come Again No More”–wasn’t written in the Great Depression; it was written in 1854, by Stephen Foster.

I’m sad to admit I don’t know much about the economic situation leading up to the Civil War, but I think the fact that it was 1854 is enough to qualify the song for inclusion here, even if there wasn’t a recession on then. (No vaccines, no painkillers, slavery was still going strong…) And the lyrics are still meaningful, I think:

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.”