Kind Words Can Never Die - New England Music Scrapbook
Kind Words Can Never Die
-  Songs of the Hutchinsons  -

Hutchinson Family Singers Web Site

Kind words can never die, e'en though they fade;

Beauty and minstrelsy deathless were made.

What though the summer day passes at eve away,

Doth not the moon's soft ray silver the night?

Sweet thoughts can never die, though like the flowers

Their brightest hues may fly in wintry hours;

But when the gentle dew gives them their charms anew,

With many an added hue they bloom again.

Kind words can never die; cherished and blessed,

God knows how deep they lie stored in the breast.

Like childhood's simple rhymes said o'er a thousand times;

Aye, in all years and climes, distant and near.

Childhood can never die:  wrecks of the past,

Float o'er the memory, bright to the last.

Many a happy thing, many a daisied spring

Float o'er time's ceaseless wing, far, far away.

Hutchinson Family

Abby Hutchinson Patton. "Kind Words Can Never Die: Ballad." Music: Sister Abby. First line: "Bright things can never die, E'en though they fade; Beauty and minstrelsy Deathless were made." New York: Horace Waters. 1855.

  • Score may be found at "The Lester S. Levy Collection of Sheet Music,"
  • "Kind Words Can Never Die" is included on There's a Good Time Coming and Other Songs of the Hutchinson Family (LP, Smithsonian Collection of Recordings N-020, 1979).
  • My copy of "Kind Words Can Never Die" is in deep storage somewhere; but as I recall, there is a fifth verse.
  • We are requested by Mrs. Abby Hutchinson Patton to state, that of the song "Kind Words Can Never Die," she lays claim to the music alone. Through some mistake of the music publishers the words have been erroneously attributed to her. -- New York Tribune,  n.d.,  in the Hutchinson Family Scrapbook (1906, Item 47, back).
  • Abby composed the music for "Ring Out Wild Bells," a favorite among the Hutchinson songs, and "Kind Words can Never Die." This latter she sold to me for ten dollars, not thinking much of it. I gave it to a music teacher for publication, and he without my knowledge put it into a Sunday-School singing-book. It therefore never brought me in much money, but it brought Abby fame, being in great demand for many years. -- John W. Hutchinson,  Story of the Hutchinsons (Boston: Lee and Shepard, 1896),  Volume 2 pages 301-302)
  • Note:  Abby Patton's "Kind Words Can Never Die" appeared in several sheet-music editions. The quartet version, as far as I can tell, was published well before the main Hutchinson Family group took up the song. The soprano-alto-tenor-bass score seems to be a publisher's, not a Hutchinson Family, arrangement and can hardly be taken to represent the way the Hutchinsons performed this piece.

Alan Lewis

[earliest Hutchinson Family publicity likeness]
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Notes copyright © 2002 by Alan Lewis.
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Anonymous, John Hutchinson, John Wallace Hutchinson, John W Hutchinson, NEMS, New England Music Scrapbook, Abby Patton, Abby Hutchinson Patton, Abby H Patton. Kind Words