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Civil War Song: “Just as the Sun Went Down” by Edna Florence

Just As The Sun Went Down
by Edna Florence (1899)

1.

After the din of the battle's roar,
Just at the close of day,
Wounded and bleeding upon the battle field,
Two wounded soldiers lay.

One held a ringlet of thin, gray hair,
One held a lock of brown,
Bidding each other a fond farewell,
Just as the sun went down.

Chorus:
One thought of Mother, at home alone,
Feeble and old and gray;
One thought of a sweetheart he left in town,

Happy and young and gay.
One kissed a ringlet of thin, grey hair,
One kissed a lock of brown;
Bidding farewell to the Stars and Stripes,
Just as the sun went down.

2.

One knew the joy of a mother's love,
One of a sweetheart, fair.
Thinking of home, they lay side by side,
Breathing a farewell prayer.

One for his mother, so old and gray,
One for his love in town;
They closed their eyes to the earth and the skies,
Just as the sun went down.

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12 Responses »

  1. Dear Janet and Erwin,
    Once again you've given us a glimpse into the pain of war through history. This lovely poem/song makes me wonder what else Edna Florence may have written. Thank you bringing this to me....Arletta

  2. Hi Janet and Erwin,
    A lsad, but ovely poem. I remember reading it years ago. Keep posting and I'll keep looking, although lately it seems the days really are shorter and not just because it's fall. Remember September Song? "And the days dwindle down to a precious few..." I could say, "the hours dwindle down to a precious few. where did the day go?" I have a Civil War story I intend to put on my next blog. Will let you know when. Eunice Boeve

  3. MY FATHER SANG THIS SONG TO US. and it would make us cry.
    THANK YOU, I HAVE LOOKED FOR YEARS FOR IT. HE TOLD US HIS MOTHER SANG IT TO HIM.

  4. My mother was born in1896. I was born in1942 her last baby. When I was little she use to sing this song to me. All I could remember was "one kissed a ringlet of thin grey hair, one kissed a lock of brown, bidding each other a fond farewell, just as the sun goes down". I have looked for twenty years or more for this song I love it. I holds so many dear memories becuse she sang me to sleep with it. No one remembered it. I suspect her mother played it and sang it to her. Thank you so much..

  5. Thank you!

    I'm a very old man, but I can remember my mother singing this when I was just a little kid.

    It's a song about American soldiers during your civil war, but the message is universal. We Canadians sang it, too. Mom lost a favourite cousin at Vimy Ridge.

  6. Arletta, Elana, Eunice, Mary Ellen, and David,

    Thank you for your fine set of comments. My father (now 95) is so pleased. He is both a passionate historian and musician. To have other's appreciate his labors of love means so much to him.

    Janet

  7. I haven't heard this song played & sung since I was five or six. I'm nearly 66 now and I'd give anything to hear my dad sing & play it again. Unfortunately this was not one of the songs we did together in the '70s & '80s before he died. But, I still have his old Washburn guitar and it sure does sound good. ( a 1936 Tonk Bros. model right before they went out of business).

    John

  8. John,

    I love that you played with your father and know all the models of your instruments!

    Janet

  9. I'm surprised no other Tex Johnson fans have spoken up yet. But this song was on an old family Christmas album I grew up listening to. The album came out around the mid-1950's, and was performed by Tex Johnson & His Six Shooters. The album has Rudolph on the cover. If you Google Tex Johnson, you'll find there's a fairly large (and growing) cult following of people who grew up listening to this song (and the others on the album), and want to know more about them. I found a decent copy of the album on eBay a few years back, so you can probably still find an occasional copy out there if interested. As for why this song was on a Christmas album? Who knows. A few of the songs are not your typical Christmas songs, but more Western (like the theme from Cheyenne).

  10. Hi, do you know any more information about the author Edna, or when these lyrics became public? I have a VERY old composition book, that I purchased in an antique store in Wisconsin about 10 years ago. This poem is in it.. the poem itself is not dated, but there are other dates in the book that are 1902. There is no author on it either, but there are alot of other family names that are listed...Im wondering if this is original or a copy of the poem. Thanks!

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