Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

His Life And Background In Cincinnati 1846 - 1850 by Raymond Walters

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In Old Kentucky                 57
break his pledge of honor to his master, though that master from year to year deferred the keeping of his promise of freedom to the slave."17
The death of Uncle Tom, which came "as a tangible vision to her mind," Mrs. Stowe re­lated, "while sitting ... in the little church in Brunswick,"17 Maine, surely came with vivid­ness also to the mind of Stephen Foster upon reading Uncle Tom's Cabin in Pittsburgh. Stephen wrote down the words of a song "Poor Uncle Tom, Good Night." The original chorus19 (which did not fit the present music) was as follows:
Oh good night, good night, good night
Poor Uncle Tom Grieve not for your old Kentucky home You're bound for a better land
Old Uncle Tom
The indebtedness in this first draft of the song is clear. In Mrs. Stowe's description of Uncle Tom on his death-bed, young Master Shelby, who has travelled from Kentucky to the Deep South plantation, exclaims "Uncle Tom! my poor—poor old friend !,?20 The greet­ing "Hard times here, Mas'r,"21 which another slave addresses to Master Shelby, was bor­rowed by Stephen for the line in his song hard times come a'knockin' at the door." Be­yond this Stephen took over the words "Kentucky home"22 used elsewhere in the novel: and later he changed the theme and







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