Today we have yet another version of Steven Foster's "Hard Times Come Again No More," the musical theme for our "Hard Times" series. This one comes to us from a Corvallis-based group, The Svens. We spoke to their lead guitarist.
Viking: "My name is Jeff Morre, but I go by the alias of Viking when I play music something I learned from my old mentor Herman the German because it's kind of hard to remember Jeff Morre, but it's very easy to remember Viking.
The Svens perform instrumental music in between telling stories about the place were Viking's grandparents owned a farm — the small town of Drake, Missouri. Viking says "eight days off the Oregon Trail."
Viking: "My grandparents farm we would go visit there and they had no phone, they barely had electricity, they heated and cooked with wood, they got their water from a cistern and my grandpa built this house with his own hands and poured all the concrete, and just going back there for me was a step back in time. So when I go back to Drake and tell these stories, I go back to their farm and I have the vision of the farm in my head and the small town and it's always in my head."
And as Viking tells it, the people of Drake saw plenty of hard times and their stories define hard times for him.
Viking: "Hard times is getting your hand on a cash of gold and thinking you've become a wealthy individual and having it taken away from you. Hard times is finding the love of your life only to find out it's not really the love of your life and having that taken away from you as well. Hard times loss of family, loss of your farm, the loss of your income and these are all things that happened to the citizens of Drake, Missouri in the sagas that we present."
That's Jeff Morre, aka Viking, of The Svens.
We're still looking for more musical versions of "Hard Times Come Again No More"— to find out how to submit yours, go to opbnews.org/hardtimes