Dear Friends And Gentle Hearts

from by Lord Baldwin

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Stephen Foster, known as "the father of American music", was an American songwriter primarily known for his parlor and minstrel music. Foster wrote over 200 songs; among his best-known are "Oh! Susanna", "Camptown Races", "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"), "My Old Kentucky Home", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair", "Old Black Joe", and "Beautiful Dreamer".
When Stephen Foster died (at age, 37), his leather wallet contained a scrap of paper that simply said, "Dear friends and gentle hearts", along with 38 cents in Civil War scrip and three U.S. pennies.
It was my hope to honor Stephen Foster at the same time I honored one of my best friends who lost his soulmate last year. As I saw him graciously and humbly picking up the pieces and moving on, I was so moved that I wrote these words for and in his behalf.


Dear Friends and Gentle Hearts

Dear friends and gentle hearts
are in my thoughts, tonight.
Loved ones that share my grief,
and try hard to keep, on the light.
Good people that carry my load down their own road,
until they know,
I'll be just fine; I'll be just fine.
Dear friends and family ties
You’re here inside for all time.
I’m so glad to have you near; and I hold you dear
here in my life.
My words fail me for today, I keep looking for the right words to say in just the right way
of the how and why; of how and why.
Dear friends that bear my pain,
time and again; to help me heal.
Kindnesses that are shown;
comforting my own, and my ordeal.
Empathies that abound, and you know they’re not easily found;
yet their love is all around
for me to feel; for me to feel.
Dear friends and gentle hearts
are in my prayers, and I'm in theirs.
colleague from near and far,
that stand on guard; over my affairs
Loved ones that share my trail, that never fail,
from both sides of the veil;
oh how each one cares; how each one cares.


from E C C E N T R I C I T Y, released December 24, 2016



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