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(S.C. Foster, 1860)

Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe".

cho: I'm coming, I'm coming, for my head is bending low,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe".

Why do I weep, when my heart should feel no pain,
Why do I sigh that my friends come not again.
Grieving for forms now departed long ago.
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe"

Where are the hearts once so happy and so free?
The children so dear that I held upon my knee
Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe"

I suppose songs like this make people very nervous about being politically
incorrect, but I think it's a shame that most of the songs Stephen Foster
wrote have been edited out of our history. Certainly, the songs reflect
attitudes that are no longer acceptable; but I don't think that it's
acceptable to whitewash away part of out history.
On the other hand, I think it's probably good that songs like this are no
longer in grammar school songbooks. I learned this song by heart when I
was in grade school. Maybe it's just as well my kids didn't. Nonetheless,
I think the song should be included in the database. It's part of our
history. JO

@aging @nostalgia
filename[ OLDBLACK

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