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Each set includes tab sheets
printed on "heavy" (card-stock) paper, and they are packaged
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This month's Free Tablature is
"Who Will Care For Mother Now"
Charles C. Sawyer (lyrics); C. F. Thompson (music) - 1863





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In honor of Mother's Day, this month's tab is an arrangement of the Civil War era tear jerker "Who Will Care for Mother Now".  It is an example of the popularized genre of sentimental music, stories, and poems written during the mid-Civil War period.   These works documented the experience of individual soldiers on the battlefield, and often attempted to embody their thoughts moments before death.  The ever-increasing number of Civil War casualties, compounded by the grief and sacrifice faced by those left at home, created a shift from the grand patriotic works that were typical of the early years of the war, to a more sentimental and individualistic style.  Since mothers were (and are) considered to have great influence over their sons' decision to enlist in the armed services, they were often immortalized in verse along with their sons.   In "Who Will Care For Mother Now", the dying solder is personified as both a hero, and a devoted son.

Charles Carroll Sawyer (1833 - 1894) was the son of a sea captain and shipbuilder in Mystic, Connecticut.   In 1845, at the age of twelve, the family moved to New York City, and the young Sawyer began working as an errand boy for one of the large publishing companies there.   He took an interest in the process of writing lyrics and poems, and soon began composing his own verses to popular melodies of the day, many of which were published under various pseudonyms.   He collaborated with the "staff composers" at the publishing house to set his poems to music.   Among his other works are "I Dreamed My Boy Was Home Again", "Free At Last", and perhaps his most well-known work "When This Cruel War Is Over" (aka "Weeping Sad and Lonely").


 Here's a link to a YouTube video of this song performed by 97th Regimental String Band, a gropu specializing in Civil War era music.

This is a 2-part arrangement (melody and backup), so find a playing partner, and have fun!

Wishing all the moms out there a Happy Mother's Day!

In music and friendship,



Who Will Care for Mother Now?
(Charles Sawyer)

Why am I so weak and weary?
See how faint my heated breath,
All around to me seems darkness,
Tell me, comrades, is this death?
Ah! how well I know your answer,
To my fate I meekly bow,
If you'll only tell me truly,
Who will care for mother now?

cho: Soon with angels I'll be marching
With bright laurels on my brow;
I have for my country fallen,
Who will care for mother now?

Who will comfort her in sorrow?
Who will dry the falling tear?
Gently smooth he wrinkled forehead?
Who will whisper words of cheer?
Even now I think I see her
Kneeling, praying for me! How
Can I leave her in anguish
Who will care for mother now?

Let this knapsack be my pillow,
And my mantle be the sky.
Hasten, comrades to the battle
I will like a soldier die.
Soon with angels I'll be marching
With bright laurels on my brow;
I have for my country fallen,
Who will care for mother now?


JPG Dulcimer






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Who Will Care for Mother Now





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