Remembering Frank Lebby Stanton: A Lyricist Who Plucked Our Heartstrings

"This world we're a'livin' in
is mighty hard to beat.
You get a thorn with every rose,
but ain't the roses sweet?

January 7, 1927

Today is the anniversary of the death of the American lyricist and columnist for the Atlanta Constitution, Frank Lebby Stanton.

A son of the South, Frank was influenced by hymn writers like Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley.

Extraordinarily popular during his lifetime, Frank was charming and straightforward, and his verses evoked a feeling of nostalgia and sentiment.

For instance, Frank wrote the words for the Tin Pan Alley hit song “Mighty Like a Rose.”

Among Frank’s many famous verses is this one:

So many creeds like the weeds in the sod – 

so many temples, and only one God.


Frank’s most famous four-lined verse is also a favorite of gardeners - and it is inscribed on his Atlanta tombstone:

This world we're a'livin' in

Is mighty hard to beat.

You get a thorn with every rose.

But ain't the roses sweet?

This post was featured on
The Daily Gardener podcast:

helping gardeners find their roots,
one story at a time
1901 cover of Ethelbert Nevin's tune for Mighty Lak' a Rose by Frank Lebby Stanton
Frank Lebby Stanton, c. 1926
Frank Lebby Stanton, c. 1926

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