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The Brooklyn Theater Fire In the evening bright stars they were shining, And the moon it shone clear on the land. Our city in peace and in quiet; The hour of midnight at hand. Hark, do you hear the cry, "Fire"? How dismal the bells they do sound. The Brooklyn Theater is burning, It's fast burning down to the ground. We never can forget those two orphans. Bad luck seemed to stand in their way. It seems they were brought to our city, The lives of our dear friends to take. The doors they were open at seven. The curtains were rolled up at eight. And those that had seats, they were happy. Outsiders were mad they were late. The play it went on very smoothly 'Til sparks from the curtain did fly It was then the women and chlldren, "Oh God, save our lives," they did cry. Next morning among the black ruins, Oh God, what a sight met our eyes! The dead they were lying in heaps And some could not be recognized. Mothers were weeping and crying For sons who were out on that night. Oh God, may their souls rest in heaven, All those who were innocent and bright. What means this large gathering of people Upon such a cold winter day? What means this long line of hearses That gather in their mournful array? It's away to the cemetery of Greenwood Where the winds of the cold winter blow It's there where the funeral is going The dead and unknown for to lie. From Folk Songs Out of Wisconson, Peters Collected from Lester Coffee, Harvard, IL, 1946. Note: Commemorates a fire in a New York theater in 1876 in which 295 theatergoers died. DT #640 Laws G27 RG
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