Old Folks at Home


A Stephen Foster song, earned him a lot of money – but his name never appeared on it during his lifetime. The Swanee river is acutally the Suwannee river of Florida. I never realized where it was until seeing it accidentally on a map one time.  But the river comes to represent the stereotypical Southern setting. (Note: the recording does not include the second or third verses.  They were on a third page, over a page turn, on a lead-line only section. Can’t read those words and play the accompaniment on pages 1 and 2 at the same time.)

Way down upon de Swanee ribber, Far, far away,

Dere’s wha wy 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


All de world am sad and dreary, Ebry where I roam,

Oh! Darkeys how my heart grows weary, Far from de old folks at home

All round de little farm I wardered 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.


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!



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