Hard Times Come Again No More

Back in April, I made a Spotify playlist for my 23-year-old daughter, Maddie. She lived on High Street in Denver. I named the playlist “Shelter in Place on High Street – Volume 1.” 

In the letter I sent with the playlist, I wrote, “…sharing music is sharing love. It’s about connecting.” 

I imagined she and her housemates would listen to the playlist while they sheltered in place. 

That seems like a century ago. 

As we say goodbye to 2020, I wanted to share the playlist with you, and also share what I wrote to Maddie to close that letter. 

The playlist ends with Emmylou Harris’ rendition of “Hard Times Come Around No More.”

Here’s what I wrote: 

This seemed like an appropriate song to end this playlist. A prayer to end the turmoil. Stephen Foster wrote this song in 1854(!). Emmylou Harris recorded this version at the Ryman in 1992.

I listen to those words…: 

Tis the song, the sigh of the weary
Hard times, hard times, come again no more
Many days you have lingered all around my cabin door
Oh, hard times, come again no more

…And I think that’s my prayer for you and all of us. 

These ARE hard times. 

Then I remember how lucky we are. We have shelter. We have food. We have jobs to return to. Or if we don’t, we have a safety net. 

We’re not homeless. We’re not hungry. We’re not hopeless. We’re not grocery clerks or first responders or hospital workers who put our lives on the line and then return home afraid to come near our loved ones. 

So when we pray for the end of hard times,
let’s pray first for those who have it hardest, 
say a little prayer next for ourselves and loved ones, 
and then…

…let’s also count our blessings. 

Here’s to a New Year with many blessings ahead. 

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Tom Ruwitch

Tom Ruwitch is the founder and CEO of Story Power Marketing. For more than 30 years, he has helped businesses grow by delivering powerful stories using a variety of different media.