The Hangman at Home

(1998)

"The Hangman at Home" is the third song of John Musto's song cycle Dove Sta Amore, setting the poetry of various American poets.

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The recording of "The Hangman at Home," provided in the audio playlist to the right, is made possible through a collaboration with SongFest. The performers are Heather Reithmeier and Matthew Brower, and the performance took place on June 19, 2010 at Pepperdine University. To listen, click on the track name itself. To listen, please click on the track name itself.

The Hangman at Home
by Carl Sandburg


What does the hangman think about
When he goes home at night from work?
When he sits down with his wife and
Children for a cup of coffee and a
Plate of ham and eggs, do they ask
Him if it was a good day’s work
And everything went well or do they
Stay off some topics and talk about
The weather, base ball, politics
And the comic strips in the papers
And the movies? Do they look at his
Hands when he reaches for the coffee
Or the ham and eggs? If the little
Ones say, Daddy, play horse, here’s
A rope—does he answer like a joke:
I seen enough rope for today?
Or does his face light up like a
Bonfire of joy and does he say:
It’s a good and dandy world we live
In. And if a white face moon looks
In through a window where a baby girl
Sleeps and the moon gleams mix with
Baby ears and baby hair—the hangman—
How does he act then? It must be easy
For him. Anything is easy for a hangman,
I guess.


Audio PLaylist