Foster's Favorites: Hard Times

Stephen C. Foster wrote the song "Hard Times Come no More" during 1854. It was very popular during the time, and was well-known on both sides of the Civil War.

Foster was responsible for many "folksy" songs that cemented themselves in the public conciousnous and have refused to leave.

He was the perpetrator of "Swanee River," "Oh! Susanna" and other tunes you're likely to find on some dreadful CD sung by a choir of toddlers and other malcontents.

However, "Hard Times" is an excellent song, mostly because nobody can remember the words anymore.

Once you get the hang of the notes, try playing it with a quick, sprightly air. Remember that even harmonicas have staccato notes, for this song sounds better when the are inserted deftly.

Hard Times (mp3)

The example is played on a Lee Oskar Major Diatonic in the key of C.

(Thanks to Harmonica Academy for the tabs)


Hard Times

Part 1

4B 4D 5B 5B 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 4B 4B 4D 4B 5B 7B 6D 6B 5B 4B 4D 4B 5B 4D 4B

Repeat Part 1

Part 2

5B 5D 6B 6B 6B 5D 6B 6D 6B 7B 6D 6B 5B 4D 4B 4D 4B 4D 5B 4D

Part 1 (again)

4B 4D 5B 5B 4D 5B 6B 5B 4D 4B 4B 4D 4B 5B 7B 6D 6B 5B 4B 4D 4B 5B 4D 4B


This tune has a very "fresh" sound to it. You will probably be able to pick up the feel of the song quicker if you happen to know some of Foster's other songs, like Swanee River (God forbid).

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the song history)