Somebody’s Darling

Words by Marie Ravenal de la Coste, Music by John Hill Hewitt

“Who’ll tell his mother where her boy died?”

Noah Brooks

Though written by southerners Marie Ravenal de la Coste and John Hill Hewitt in the heart of the Confederacy, “Somebody’s Darling” was extremely popular on both sides. As soldiers grew more battle-hardened and protected themselves with cynicism, a dead body left on the battlefield was often referred to as “somebody’s darling.” In Reunion, this touching ballad of a young soldier’s anonymous death in an army hospital is interwoven with Louisa May Alcott’s poignant account of a particularly deep bond she has formed with a dying young soldier. Living out his final moments in a Union hospital, he battles to hold off the death they both know is coming until his final letter home is answered. But death arrives for the blacksmith just a moment too early.

Lyrics

Into the ward of the clean white-washed halls,
Where the dead slept and the dying lay;
Wounded by bayonets, sabres and balls,
Somebody’s darling was borne one day.
Somebody’s darling, so young and so brave,
Wearing still on his sweet yet pale face,
Soon to be hid in the dust of the grave,
The lingering light of his boyhood’s grace.

Somebody’s darling,
Somebody’s pride,
Who’ll tell his mother where her boy died?

…Tenderly bury the fair unknown dead,
Pausing to drop on his grave a tear;
Carve on the wooden slab over his head,
“Somebody’s darling is slumbering here.”

Somebody’s darling,
Somebody’s pride,
Who’ll tell his mother where her boy died?

Song Excerpt

Listen to “Somebody’s Darling” performed by Donna Lynne Champlin and Harriett D. Foy of the original New York cast.

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Reunion original cast CD

Get your studio recording featuring 19 songs from Reunion performed by the original off-Broadway cast and orchestra.

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