Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

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

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68              Youth's Golden Gleam
In one of Stephen's early melodies the words of a negro are: "White folks, I'll sing for you." This youthful white composer was to sing for the negroes—to influence their own music and to represent their race. The usual songs of the minstrel shows did not please the Southern negroes, said Thomas Wentworth Higginson.* But Stephen Foster's music had an effect upon some of the subsequent negro spirituals. That the hymn "Lord5 Remember Me"34 bears "a palpable likeness to 'Camptown Races'" was first indicated by Henry E. Krehbiel;35 and George Pullen Jackson36 says that "Roll Jor­dan" shows evidence "of having been in­fluenced by Foster's 'Camptown Races."' As to the popular aspect it may moderately be said that the mass of colored people love these melodies which peculiarly sing their sadness and their joy.
* "A few youths from Savannah . . . had learned some of the 'Ethiopian Minstrel' ditties, imported from the North. These took no hold on the masses/' i.e., the negroes of South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.—Thomas Wentworth Higginson, "Negro Spirituals," The Atlantic Monthly, June 1867.

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