Stephen Collins Foster Biography - online book

A Biography Of America's Folk-Song Composer By Harold Vincent Milligan

Home Main Menu Singing & Playing Order & Order Info Support Search Voucher Codes

Share page  Visit Us On FB

Previous Contents Next
Even at the age of thirteen, Stephen could probably
have done better than this. The fourth verse is especially
Ghost-like thus they wane before me,
Quenched their lustre, fled their bloom, While pale mem'ry, tearful, o'er me
Flings the shadow of the tomb.
There is nothing characteristically Scotch about the music except that the composer, consciously or uncon­sciously, incorporated in the eight-bar prelude the re­frain of the song "Robin Adair."
The "applause and encore" which greeted the "Tioga Waltz" do not seem to have encouraged the youthful composer to any further productions, for aside from "Sadly to My Heart Appealing," there is no hint of any other musical compositions during the ensuing period of three years. He was still interested in music, however, for his name appears on the roster of the Towanda Band, in which he played the clarinet.
The summer following the commencement made memorable by the performance of the "Tioga Waltz," he was with Uncle Struthers, returning to Athens in the fall and spending the winter in school there.
A letter from his mother to William, written from Youngstown in the following summer (1840), indicates that he was still under the protection of his oldest brother. It also suggests that his future career had been the subject of some discussion in the family.
Youngstown, August 7th, 1840.
. . . . As to Stephen, I leave everything regarding the future to your own judgment, West Point or the navy I have no choice; you are not only his brother, but his Father; and I trust all his feel­ings will ascend to you as his patron.
. . . . Give much love to my dear boy Stephen and endeavor to realize a full share of the anxious solicitude for your welfare and happiness existing in the breast of your affectionate
Stephen evidently returned home to his mother, for there is another reference to him in a letter written about two months later:

E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III