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Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)

DigiTrad:
BEAUTIFUL DREAMER
BEAUTIFUL HOME
BEAUTIFUL TEAMSTERS
BRIGHTER DAYS IN STORE
CAMPTOWN RACES
COME TO THY LATTICE, LOVE
DON'T BET YOUR MONEY ON DE SHANGHAI
GENTLE ANNIE
GENTLE ANNIE 2
GLENDY BURKE
HARD TIMES COME AGAIN NO MORE
I DREAM OF JEANNIE WITH THE LIGHT BROWN HAIR
I WOULD NOT DIE IN SUMMER TIME
MASSA'S IN DE COLD, COLD GROUND
MOLLY DO YOU LOVE ME
NELLY BLY
OH! BOYS CARRY ME 'LONG
OH, SUSANNA
OLD BLACK JOE
OLD DOG TRAY
OLD FOLKS AT HOME
OLD KENTUCKY HOME
SOME FOLKS DO
THE SONG OF ALL SONGS
UNCLE NED
UNCLE NED
WHEN THIS DREADFUL WAR IS ENDED
WILLIE, WE HAVE MISSED YOU


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Lyr Req: Oh Suzanna? / Oh Susanna (30)
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In Mudcat MIDIs:
Old Folks At Home


Ralph Butts 04 Jun 97 - 08:57 AM
Peter Timmerman 04 Jun 97 - 03:01 PM
rich r 04 Jun 97 - 08:37 PM
Dave Murphy 04 Jun 97 - 11:06 PM
Ralph Butts 05 Jun 97 - 06:17 AM
masato sakurai 19 Oct 02 - 10:17 PM
Mr Happy 15 May 09 - 07:54 AM
masato sakurai 15 May 09 - 11:22 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 16 May 09 - 03:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM
Gutcher 09 Oct 13 - 07:39 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 09 Oct 13 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 10 Oct 13 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,leeneia 10 Oct 13 - 10:15 PM
MGM·Lion 11 Oct 13 - 01:00 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 11 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: OLD FOLKS AT HOME (Stephen Foster)
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 04 Jun 97 - 08:57 AM

This song is in the database, but not in dialect as it was original written. No doubt, this will make comparisons to Japanese translations even more difficult. The song was published in 1851.

Information from "A Treasury of Stephen Foster", Random House, NY 1946.

OLD FOLKS AT HOME—Stephen Foster

'Way down upon de Swanee ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation,
And for de old folks at home.

    CHORUS
    All de world am sad and dreary,
    Ebrywhere I roam,
    Oh! Darkies how my heart grows weary,
    Far from de old folks at home.
All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I.
Oh! Take me to my kind old mudder,
Dere let me live and die.
    CHORUS
One little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love,
Still sadly to my mem'ry rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see de bees a humming
All 'round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo tumming
Down in my good old home?
    CHORUS


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: Peter Timmerman
Date: 04 Jun 97 - 03:01 PM

Ralph, since you are an expert, do you know what the outcome of the debate in Florida was about replacing this as the State Song?

Yours, Peter


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: rich r
Date: 04 Jun 97 - 08:37 PM

Did you all know that the draft version of this song in Foster's notebook had "Way down upon de Peedee Ribber" He later lined it out and wrote "Swanee" above which we all know to be the 2 syllable corruption of the 3 syllable Suanee R in Florida

rich r


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: Dave Murphy
Date: 04 Jun 97 - 11:06 PM

I have a different version, from Sara Ann O'Neil of Dungannon
    The audience was laughing in a city orr the sea
    And the brillient lights were shining everywhere
    The songs and witty sayings filled the audience with glee
    For the minstrels from the sunny south were there
    A minstrel sung a song about his old Kentucky home
    Along the Sewannee River far away
    When an old and aged darky rose and to the footlights came
    He bowed low and the crowd all heard him say

    Chorus

    Sing again that sweet refrain
    It's where my old folks came
    And it brings me back those happy days
    Before I was sold away
    Along the Sewannee River banks
    That's where I used to roam
    But I'm old and grey and far away Far from the old folks and home.


That's the first verse and chorus, but it's probably a well-known song here and I don't want to take up your time with the rest of it. But, it's interesting isn't it?


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: Ralph Butts
Date: 05 Jun 97 - 06:17 AM

Since there's been some interest, I'm including the full note on Old Folks from the Foster Treasury.

BEGIN QUOTE
This is the best-known of all of Stephen Foster's songs, and deservedly so, for it ranks with Home Sweet Home as one of the world's great home songs. It is sung in almost every language known to man, and while it was composed for a specific audience, that of the minstrel show, its appeal is so universal that it has gone beyond the limits of nationalism, of race, and of time.

When Stephen Foster composed Old Folks at Home he had in mind nothing further than writing a popular song for E.P. Christy to sing, a home-ballad with the name of a river in it. He wasn't particular as to what river, as long as it was in the South and the name fitted the melody he had jotted down. So he started the first draft in his manuscript book: "Way down upon the Pedee Ribber." He didn't like that very much; but he liked still less the "Yazoo," which he had thought of first.

So he put on his hat and called on his brother, Morrison. All Morrison had to suggest was the "Yazoo" which Stephen had already discarded. Finally, Morrison reached for an atlas, and together they found the name "Swanee" attached to a river that started in Georgia and ran down through Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Stephen, delighted, crossed out "Pedee" and wrote in "Swanee." By that act he immortalized a river he had never seen, and made it famous throughout the world.
END QUOTE

Elsewhere, it is mentioned that he sold the song to Christy ("Christy's Minstrels) for ten dollars, after which Christy listed himself as composer, which lasted for the life of the copyright.

------------------

BTW, Peter, Re: State Song debate. I don't know the details, but it's not hard to imagine.......Tiger


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: masato sakurai
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 10:17 PM

(1) Recordings:

Old folks at home [Realaudio sound recording]
CREATED/PUBLISHED -- [United States]: E. Berliner's Gramophone , 1898 November 2
Recorded on one side only; publisher no.: 301 Z E. Berliner's Gramophone.
August P. Stengler, clarinet; piano acc. Uniform title: [Old folks at home; arr.]
(From Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry, Library of Congress)

Old folks at home / Foster [Realaudio]
Performer: Henry Burr, tenor with orchestra accompaniment
Distributor: Columbia Graphophone Company, New York
Manufacturer: Columbia Graphophone Company , New York (State)
Recorded: [28 Feb 1916] by Columbia Graphophone Company
Released [ca 1916]
(From The Virtual Gramophone)

(2) Meanings of the words, significance of the song (From Center for American Music -- Stephen Collins Foster)
(selective list, paraphrased, based on interpretations reported in the literature):
1. Foster's intended meaning (1850s):
No matter how far we may travel or what sadness the world imposes on us, all our hearts ache for the best memories of childhood, the security of a family and parents ("old folks"), the familiarity of a home.
2. Post-reconstruction era (1870s-1890s):
Blacks yearn to go back to the plantation, where they were better off. (The song was performed condescendingly and with exaggerated dialect.)
3. Harry T. Burleigh and Antonin Dvorak (1890s):
A "heart song" of the American people, a folk song alongside slave's spirituals.
4. W.E.B. DuBois (ca. 1900):
Old Folks at Home is legitimately considered an authentic song of the Negro race, who have adopted it to express their own emotions.
5. W.C. Handy ("Father of the Blues" in his autobiography, 1955):
Old Folks at Home, My Old Kentucky Home, and Old Black Joe helped bring about emancipation, and owe something to the "well of sorrow" that gave rise to the blues.
6. Civil Rights Era (1950s-1960s):
Any song ever associated with negative ethnic images should be eliminated.
7. Postmodern era (1980s-1990s):
Any song (even The Star Spangled Banner and America) can be interpreted both positively and negatively. Old Folks at Home has hundreds of meanings around the world.

~Masato


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: Mr Happy
Date: 15 May 09 - 07:54 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hju5YFPH


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: masato sakurai
Date: 15 May 09 - 11:22 PM

Mr Happy, is this your intended link?

Stephen Foster - Old Folks at Home - Deanna Durbin


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Subject: RE: LYR: Old Folks At Home
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 16 May 09 - 03:31 PM

Sheet music first bore Stephen Foster's name in 1853; not mentioned on the 1851 printing with Christy's name. Both were published by Firth, Pond.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Oct 13 - 01:13 PM

A song called "Young Folks at Home," anon., was very popular in the late 1850s, according to a survey of songs at the time. No doubt inspired by Foster's "Old Folks at Home," but the melody is more like "Ring, Ring the Banjo," and is listed with that song in American Memory.
I will post the lyrics in the thread "Ring, Ring the Banjo."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: Gutcher
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 07:39 AM

All I can remember of a parody on this one from the backwoods in my childhood is:--

Way down upon a Swanee River
Whaur aa fell in
Trying tae catch wee baggie minnans
wey a condensed milk tin.

O the lassies roared and laughed
At me fa'in in
Way down upon a Swanee River
wey ma condensed milk tin.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 09 Oct 13 - 05:54 PM

The "Young Folks at Home" lyrics, Christy's sheet music, and 19th C. song sheets, do not seem worth reproducing here.
Anyone interested can find them easily by googling.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:50 AM

I was curious, so I did a search on Peedee River. There is such a river, and it's in the Carolinas. For an eye-opener, google it yourself and go to the page for Robbie the Guide. There are some pictures of catfish on his site which must be seen to be believed.

It gives me pause when I think that the Mudcat is named for fish like that.

Here's a quote from Robbie's site:

"Please make sure you have a tight grip on my rods before getting them out of the rod holder when a fish is on. These catfish pull really hard and can jerk a rod and reel right out of your hands. If this happens or you drop or loose any of my equipment in the water I will expect you to pay for it. My rod and reels cost $250.00 each."

I visited the Suanee River (the river Foster settled on) once. It was beautiful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 12:50 PM

Catfish from clearer rivers are best for eating. I did field work in southern Illinois, in work for my degree. I fondly remember a café that offered all the catfish you could eat every Friday, if one ordered a beer. Excellent fare for a poor student on a grant.

I have never seen the Suwannee River.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 10 Oct 13 - 10:15 PM

I'm sure they taste better when they haven't been around mud, but they can hide better and get big in muddy water. Actually, I wonder whether a clear, cold rushing stream would carry enough organic material for a catfish to eat.

In Cottonwood Falls, Kansas, we chatted with a man who had caught a 60-pound catfish from off the stone bridge right on Main Street. (the bridge no longer carries vehicles.) Everybody in his extended family got catfish to eat.

Q, don't feel bad because you've never seen the Suwannee River; Stephen Foster probably never saw it either. And yet he made it famous.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 01:00 AM

I think it's true that he never saw it. I read once in some such place as Ripley's Believe It Or Not that he just looked on the map for a river around the right location with the right # of syllables and the right sort of sound for his lyric, & pitched on the Sewanee [Suwanee?] becoz he liked th4e sibilant at the beginning. & then he didn't pronounce it quite right to make it fit the rhythm SFAICS; and then Gershwin & Jolson...!

Wikipedia, which spells it Suwannee, sez

"This river is the subject of the Stephen Foster song "Old Folks at Home," in which he calls it the Swanee Ribber. Foster had named the Pedee River of South Carolina in his first lyrics. It has been called Swanee River because Foster had misspelled the name. Foster never saw the river he made world famous. George Gershwin's song, with lyrics by Irving Caesar, and made popular by Al Jolson, is also spelled "Swanee," and boasts that "the folks up North will see me no more when I get to that Swanee shore."

Both these songs feature strumming banjos and reminiscences of a plantation life more typical of 19th century South Carolina along the Peedee than among the swamps and small farms of the coastal plain of Georgia and Florida."

~M~


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 10:55 AM

I doubt that anybody ever pronounced the u in 'Suwannee.'

It's true that the word 'plantation' occurs in the first verse, but the other verses refer to a little farm and a little hut. So the jury is out on Foster's real view of life on the Suwannee.
=============
Thread drift - Q, did you see that I wrote music to the minstrel song from the Library of Congress that you posted earlier? The thread is called 'a humorous song folk-processed.' The thread has a link you can click and hear how the music goes.

I'm being attacked because 'I didn't need to write it.' As if there's a law that says only one version of a theme is allowed. (Actually they're incensed because the song praises the banjo.)
============
Back to the Suwannee River: I've been studying the map of Florida. I see no reason why they couldn't have been playing banjos on the Suwannee, especially where it meets the Gulf of Mexico and one could make a living fishing.

To this day, much of the land inland from there is uninhabited wetland.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Old Folks at Home (Stephen Foster)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 11 Oct 13 - 12:19 PM

One trip to New Orleans was the extent of Foster's Southern travels.


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