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Drummer Boy of Shiloh

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The Drummer Boy of Shiloh

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The Drummer Boy of Shiloh
(Will S. Hays)

On Shiloh's dark and bloody ground
The dead and wounded lay,
Amongst them was a drummer boy
Who beat the drums that day.
A wounded soldier held him up
His drum was by his side;
He clasped his hands, then raised his eyes
And prayed before he died.
He clasped his hands, then raised his eyes
And prayed before he died.

Look down upon the battle field,
Oh, Thou our Heavenly Friend!
Have mercy on our sinful souls!
The soldiers cried, "Amen!  "
For gathered 'round a little group,
Each brave man knelt and cried.
They listened to the drummer boy
Who prayed before he died.
They listened to the drummer boy
Who prayed before he died.

"Oh, mother," said the dying boy,
"Look down from Heaven on me,
Receive me to thy fond embrace-
Oh, take me home to thee.
I've loved my country as my God;
To serve them both I've tried."
He smiled, shook hands---death seized the boy
Who prayed before he died;
He smiled, shook hands---death seized the boy
Who prayed before he died.

Each soldier wept, then, like a child,
Stout hearts were they, and brave;
The flag his winding sheet, God's Book
The key unto his grave.
They wrote upon a simple board
These words: "This is a guide
To those who'd mourn the drummer boy
Who prayed before he died;
To those who'd mourn the drummer boy
Who prayed before he died."

Ye angels' round the Throne of Grace,
Look down upon the braves
Who fought and died on Shiloh's plain,
Now slumb'ring in their graves!
How many homes made desolate?
How many hearts have sighed?
How many, like that drummer boy,
Who prayed before they died;
How many, like that drummer boy,
Who prayed before they died!

DT #364
Laws A15
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III