Francis Ellen Watkins Harper
Let Me Make the Songs for the People
Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.
Not for the clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
With more abundant life.
Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life's fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.
Let me sing for little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o'er life's highway.
I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.
Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.
Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Shall bless the world with peace.
-Francis Ellen Watkins Harper
Poem set to music
Her address In May 1866 to the
Eleventh National Women’s Rights
Convention in New York City where she
sat on the platform with Elizabeth Cady
Stanton and Susan B. Anthony.speech
"We are all bound up together"
African American abolitionist, poet, teacher,
and advocate for women's and human rights