Favorite Songs and Hymns For School and Home, page: 0163

450 Of The World's Best Songs And Hymns, With Lyrics & Sheet music for voice & piano.

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manuscript, and kept for the private entertainment of his friends. At that time a Mr. Andrews, of Pittsburg, offered a silver cup for the best original negro song, Mr. Morrison Foster sent to his brother Stephen a copy of the advertisement announcing the fact, with a letter urging him to become a competitor for the prize. He finally yielded, and in due time forwarded a melody entitled, " Way down South, whar de Corn grows." When the eventful night came, the various pieces in competiton were rendered to the audience by Nelson
Kneass to his own accompaniment on the piano. The audience expressed by their applause a decided pre­ference for Stephen's melody; but the committee de­cided in favor of some one else. This experiment of Foster's served a profitable purpose, for it led him to a critical investigation of the school of music to which it belonged. This had been, and was yet, unques­tionably popular. To what, then, was it indebted for its captivating points ? It was to its truth to Nature in her simplest and most childlike mood. Settled as to
OH, BOYS, CARRY ME 'LONG.
Stephen C. Foster.
theory, Foster applied himself to its exemplification. The Presidential campaign of 1844 was distinguished by political song-singing. Clubs for that purpose were organized in all the cities and towns and hamlets. So enthusiastic became the popular feeling in this direc­tion, that, when the November crisis was come and gone, these clubs lived on. Among them was one, composed of a half-dozen young men, Foster—home again, and a link once more in the circle of his inti-
mates—at its head. One night he laid before them a song entitled " Louisiana Belle." It elicited unani­mous applause, and in the course of a few nights the song was sung very widely in Pittsburg. Foster then brought to light his portfolio specimens, since univer­sally known as "Uncle Ned" and " O Susanna!" The favor with which these latter were received far surpassed even that of " Louisiana Belle." Their fame spread far and wide, until from the drawing-rooms of
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