There goes “somebody’s darlin’ “, became a common expression during the Civil War when a soldier fell in the line of duty.
In that moment of recognition by the men fighting the war there was no great instinct to discuss the politics of the war or even complain about the food or the lack of plumbing or the cold.
A more severe cold had set in, and it was the overwhelming and relentless loss of life . Because of the great loss of life the names were not always immediately known. Thus, when a fallen brother was carried away, another soldier often identified him as “Somebody’s darlin’.”
A song of lament grew out of the abundant grief.
Words by Marie Ravenal de la Coste
Music by John Hill Hewitt
Into the ward of the clean white-washed halls,
Where the dead slept and the dying lay;
Wounded by bayonets, sabres and balls,
Somebody’s darling was borne one day.
Somebody’s darling, so young and so brave,
Wearing still on his sweet yet pale face,
Soon to be hid in the dust of the grave,
The lingering light of his boyhood’s grace.
CHORUS: Somebody’s darling, somebody’s pride,
Who’ll tell his mother where her boy died?