play Marching Still

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She is old, and bent, and wrinkled
In her rocker in the sun,
And the thick, gray, woollen stocking
That she knits is never done.
She will ask the news of battle
If you pass her when you will,
For to her the boys are marching,
Marching still.

She was knitting in the corner
When the fatal news was read,
How her last and youngest perished,--
And the letter, ending, said:
"I am writing on my knapsack
By the road, with borrowed quill,
For the Union army's marching,
Marching still."

Reason sank and died within her
Like a flame for want of air;
So she knits the woolen stockings
For the soldier lads to wear,
Waiting til the war is ended
For her sons to cross the sill;
For she thinks they all are marching,
Marching still.

Seven tall sons about her growing
Cheered the widowed mother's soul;
One by one they kissed and left her
When the drums began to roll.
They are buried in the trenches,
They are bleaching on the hill;
But to her the boys are marching;
Marching still.

Credits:

PW:  lap slide guitar, vocal
Jon Carroll:  accordion
Bob Beach:  harmonica
Cheryl Prashker:  drums
Don Porterfield:  bass
Joe Jencks:  vocals
Helena Nash:  vocals


words by Minna Irving (published 1897)
music by Pat Wictor (Tell A Tale Music/BMI)

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updated 5 years ago