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The Drummer Boy of Shiloh

Music and lyrics by William Shakespeare Hays





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

2. Look down upon the battle field,
Oh, Thou our Heavenly Friend!
Have mercy on our sinful souls!"
The soldier's cried--"Amen."
For gathered 'round a little group,
Each brave men knelt and cried;
They list'ned to the drummer boy,
Who prayed before he died,
They list'ned to the drummer boy,
Who prayed before he died.

3. "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.

4. 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.

5. 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!