The Vacant Chair
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The Music of the American Civil War (1861-1865)



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Lyrics
The words are by Henry Washburn. The melody was written in 1862 by George F. Root (1820-1895).

George Root's other tunes included Tramp! Tramp! Tramp!, The Battle Cry of Freedom and Just Before the Battle Mother.

We shall meet, but we shall miss him
There will be one vacant chair
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer;
When a year ago we gathered
Joy was in his mild blue eye,
But a golden chord is severed
And our hopes in ruin lie.

Chorus
We shall meet, but we shall miss him
There will be one vacant chair
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our evening prayer.


At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell,
At remembrance of the story
How our noble Willie sell;
How he strove to bear our banner
Through the thickest of the fight,
And uphold our country's honor
In the strength of manhood's night.

Chorus
True, they tell us wreaths of glory
Ever more will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, Oh early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed,
Dirges from the pine and cypress,
Mingle with the tears we shed.

Chorus
  • Other George F. Root songs at this site:

  • Related Links
    • Civil War Links
      Great page of links, well organized. Links to everything from battles to letters and diaries.
    • Civil War
    Lyrics from The Mudcat Cafe