The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #55931   Message #872785
Posted By: Richie
23-Jan-03 - 09:16 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: De Camptown Races (Stephen Foster)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: De Camptown Races
Here's more info:

Some other names of Camptown Races are: "Hoodah Day," "Banks of Sacramento," "Gwine to Run All Night," Sacramento;" "Lincoln Hoss and Stephen A." "Ho! For Californ-I-O" "Bobtail Hoss/Horse" " Californio". Not to be confused with "New Camptown Races" composed by mandolinist Frank Wakefield about 1957 on Folkways FA 2492, New Lost City Ramblers - "String Band Instrumentals" (1964).

NOTES: Wade's version is the famous Stephen Foster song melody translated to the North-West Morris tradition (for use with either a polka or single step). In America there is a singing call to the tune for square dancers. Apparently, the melody was collected as a sea shanty called "Banks of Sacramento," whose origins were in the California Gold Rush of 1849. This seems to predate the Stephen Foster copyright, but the relation, if any, between the two is unclear.

Spaeth in a A History of Popular Music in America, p. 107 notes that a "folk-song" called "Hoodah Day" is very similar to this song, and speculates that it or "Banks of Sacramento" could have been the original of the Foster song. Same tune in "Lincoln Hoss and Stephen A."