THE VACANT CHAIR (HENRY J. WASHBURN/GEORGE F. ROOT) (1861)

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Lyrics as performed by The New Lost City Ramblers, reprinted in liner notes for "Chants de la Guerre de Secession," Folkways/Le Chant du Monde (French edition) (FWX-55717, 1960s).

We will meet but we will miss him,
There will be his vacant chair;
We will linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer;
When a year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye,
But a golden chord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.
CHORUS:
We will meet, but we will miss him,
There will be his vacant chair,
We will linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer.
At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story,
How our noble father fell;
How he strove to bear our banner
Through the thickest of the fight;
And uphold our country's honor,
In the strength of manhood's fight.

True, they tell us wreaths of glory
Ever more will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only,
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, Oh early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed.
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

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