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Gentle Lena Clare

[ Roud V25773 ; Stephen Collins Foster, 1860]

Steve Turner sang Gentle Lena Clare on his 2008 Tradition Bearers album Spirit of the Game. He noted:

I started looking at Stephen Foster songs in the 1980s after recording Hard Times in 1986 on my fourth and last LP. Having been given the Stephen Foster songbook as a birthday present at the time and swerving the obvious pitfalls involved in choosing which of his songs are remotely politically correct, I discovered this song, written around 1862, which seems to have passed under the radar insofar as I couldn't find any other recordings of it.

Lyrics

Steve Turner sings Gentle Lena Clare

I’m thinking of sweet Lena Clare,
Her deep blue eyes and waving hair.
Her voice is sweet, her face is fair,
My gentle Lena Clare.

Chorus (after each verse):
Gentle Lena Clare,
My dear loved Lena Clare;
Her heart is light, her eyes are bright,
My gentle Lena Clare.

I love her careless winning ways,
I love her wild and birdlike lays,
I love the grass whereon she strays,
My gentle Lena Clare.

Her home is in the shady glen,
When summer comes I’ll seek again
On mountains high and lowland plain,
My gentle Lena Clare.

(repeat first verse)

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Garry Gillard for transcribing Steve Turner's lyrics.