by Stephen Collins Foster (1826 - 1864)

Was my brother in the battle?
Language: English 
Tell me, tell me, weary soldier from the rude and stirring wars,
Was my brother in the battle where you gained those noble scars?
He was ever brave and valiant, and I know he never fled.
Was his name among the wounded or numbered with the dead?
Was my brother in the battle when the tide of war ran high?
You would know him in a thousand by his dark and flashing eye.

    Tell me. tell me, weary soldier, will he never come gain,
    Did he suffer 'mid the wounded or die among the slain?

Was my brother in the battle when the noble Highland host
Were so wrongfully outnumbered on the Carolina coast?
Did he struggle for the Union 'mid the thunder and the rain,
Till he fell among the brave on a bleak Virginia plain?
Oh, I'm sure that he was dauntless and his courage ne'er would lag
While contending for the honor of our dear and cherished flag.

Was my brother in the battle when the flag of Erin came
To the rescue of our banner and protection of our fame,
While the fleet from off the waters poured out terror and dismay
Till the bold and erring foe fell like leaves on Autumn day?
When the bugle called to battle and the cannon deeply roared,
Oh! I wish I could have seen him draw his sharp and glittering sword.


Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Researcher for this text: Emily Ezust [Administrator]

This text was added to the website: 2009-09-21
Line count: 20
Word count: 233