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
he had another song to try out, "Uncle Ned." This was in 1845, when Stephen was nineteen. Neither song was published until two years later, although they are said to have become widely popular in Pittsburgh, being passed by "word of mouth."
It was decided in the family councils that it was high time for Stephen to get to work, so the following year, 1846, he was sent to Cincinnati, where he became a book­keeper for his brother Dunning, who was in the com­mission business. Morrison Foster says that his books were models of neatness and accuracy, but the work must have been very distasteful to him, and he did not remain long, returning to Pittsburgh in 1848.
It was while he was in Cincinnati that his musical pro­ductions received an impetus sufficient to suggest the idea that he might find in music a career worthy of his serious attention. The song "There's a Good Time Coming" was published in October, 1846, by Peters & Field of Cincinnati. The origin of this song is not men­tioned by either Nevin or Morrison Foster. It was "composed for and respectfully dedicated to Miss Mary D. Keller, of Pittsburgh." The words are "Lines from the London Daily News":
We may not live to see the day, But earth shall glisten in the ray
Of the good time coming: Cannon balls may aid the truth,
But there's a weapon stronger, We'll win our battle by its aid,
Wait a little longer.
There are eight verses in all, each celebrating some feature of the good time coming:
War in all men's eyes shall be A monster of iniquity,
In the good time coming, Nations shall not quarrel then
To prove which is the stronger, Nor slaughter men for glory's sake,
Wait a little longer.

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