Stephen Foster youth's golden gleam - online book

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

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loo             Youth's Golden Gleam
phen and he looked over a map of the United States, searching for "a good name of two syllables for a Southern river." Morrison's proposal of Yazoo was rejected. Then, wrote Morrison:
. . . my finger stopped at the "Swa-nee," a little river in Florida empty­ing into the Gulf of Mexico. "That's it, that's it exactly!" exclaimed he, delighted, as he wrote the name down; and the song was finished, commencing "Way down upon de Swanee Ribber."7 How Stephen was shaped by his time is shown in the verses he wrote for his negro melodies. Throughout "Oh! Susanna" runs the grotesque exaggeration and contradictions of pioneer humor:
It rained all night the day I left The weather it was dry. The sun so hot I froze to death— Susanna, don't you cry.
Presently, into his plantation songs there crept Stephen's note of poetic tenderness, as in TDolly Day."
When de work is over
I make de banjo play,
And while I strike de dulcem notes,
I think of Dolly Day.
Her form is like a posy—
De lily of de vale,
Her voice is far de sweetest sound
Dat floats upon de gale.

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