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Poet, Musician and Man 103
melodies; while only seven (five being interrelated tonal variants of the "Old Folks at Home" type) show relationships to composed popular music. . . . Two songs only . . . have been found related to early white men's spiritual songs of which negro-sung variants were later (in the 186o's and 1870's) recorded.
If Stephen Foster used folk-material he did what Martin Luther did with Gregorian material in "Ein feste Burg"; and, as Albert Schweitzer has said, "the recognition of this fact deprives the melody of none of its beauty and Luther of none of the credit for it."11
It is important that our estimate of Stephen Foster should avoid too much heightening. He does not belong to the class of composers who have produced large and sustained works, the great musicians of the world. We may fairly, however, approve the words of Young E. Allison:12 "Here in the United States he holds undisputedly the place in popular affection held by Robert Burns in Scotland, Thomas Moore in Ireland, Franz Abt in Germany"; and likewise the summary of John Tasker Howard, whose biography Stephen Foster^ America's "Troubadour is admirable for its critical judgments as well as for its praise:13
Of the two hundred songs and com-
J )Ositions that Foster published, at east fifteen are still constantly sung,