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“One. two, skip a few…ninety-nine, a hundred.”

That takes me right back to my childhood and games of hide-and-seek with those creative, borderline unscrupulous individuals who just wouldn’t be nice and decent and just count properly! 🙂 That aside, that silly little song has come in so handy over the years. Unknown to most of the population, whenever “One, two, skip a few…or a lot” or some variation of that features as my Facebook status, it’s my little way of giving myself a heads-up…that I’ve skipped more breaths than is safe.

I often question the existence of my soul (in a purely non-theological fashion). It is as if basic, human elements that function for other people don’t function for me. I used to have them, until the expedient nature of checking out of the human race revealed itself most clearly. I was fine, until I realised I wasn’t.

Very few things touch me deeply enough for me to remember that I may/used to have a soul. Most days, I’m okay with that. Recently, though, it’s as if I’ve been stuck in neutral, or on some nebulous plane that allows me to stand outside of myself and behold the unfolding horror. My mind registers the horror, but nothing responds inside me. Whatever passes for my soul forgets to breathe.

Sometimes, all I need is a good reminder. My sister posted a song I’d heard before, but forgotten how much I’d liked it.  A song so beautifully human. Soul-deep.

According to the lovely folks at Wikipedia, “the song asks the fortunate to consider the plight of the less fortunate”. The writer died at the age of 37, and it makes me wonder how he managed to live so much life in such a short time, for such words can come from nothing but the power of the human experience. Over 150 years later, that power prevails.

It feels strange to share something that so deeply connects with me, but I’d consider it an honour if you would listen to this song. Thank you.


“Hard Times Come Again No More” [Stephen Foster (1826-1844)]

Let us pause in life’s pleasures and count its many tears
While we all sup sorrow with the poor
There’s a song that will linger forever in our ears;
Oh, hard times come again no more

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

While we seek mirth and beauty and music light and gay
There are frail forms fainting at the door
Though their voices are silent, their pleading looks will say;
Oh, hard times come again no more

‘Tis a sigh that is wafted across the troubled wave
‘Tis a wail that is heard upon the shore
‘Tis a dirge that is murmured around the lowly grave
Oh, hard times come again no more