Weeping Sad and Lonely (When This Cruel War Is Over)

Words by Charles C. Sawyer, Music by Henry Tucker

“When this cruel war is over, praying that we meet again….”

Noah Brooks

Most sources agree that “Weeping Sad and Lonely” (also known as “When This Cruel War Is Over”) was the single best-selling song of the war, accounting for over a million copies of sheet music sold in the north—a breathtaking number when the population of the Civil War era is taken into account. A number of Union generals were known to have banned the song from their camps, convinced that the song’s melancholy reminder of what the men had left behind only made the desertion rate climb.

Lyrics

Dearest love, do you remember, when we last did meet,
How you told me that you loved me, kneeling at my feet?
Oh, how proud you stood before me in your suit of blue,
When you vowed to me and country ever to be true.

Weeping sad and lonely,
Hopes and fears how vain!
When this cruel war is over,
Praying that we meet again.

When the summer breeze is sighing mournfully along;
Or when autumn leaves are falling, sadly breathes the song.
Oft in dreams I see thee lying on the battle plain,
Lonely, wounded, even dying, calling but in vain.

Weeping sad and lonely,
Hopes and fears how vain!
When this cruel war is over,
Praying that we meet again.

But our country called you, darling, angels cheer your way;
While our nation’s sons are fighting, we can only pray.
Nobly strike for God and liberty, let all nations see
How we love the starry banner, emblem of the free.

Weeping sad and lonely,
Hopes and fears how vain!
When this cruel war is over,
Praying that we meet again.

Song Excerpt

Listen to “Weeping Sad and Lonely” performed by Donna Lynne Champlin and Don Burroughs of the original New York cast.

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