Stephen Foster Songbook

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Old Black Joe (1860)

TML # 007585
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By the time Foster wrote this piece, his parents were dead, his marriage was troubled, and he was in bad financial shape. It has been theorized that this put him in a nostalgic mood. As always, he set it on the plantation -- but for once not in dialect.
Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe".

cho: I'm coming, I'm coming, for my head is bending low,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe".
Why do I weep, when my heart should feel no pain,
Why do I sigh that my friends come not again.
Grieving for forms now departed long ago.
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe"

Where are the hearts once so happy and so free?
The children so dear that I held upon my knee
Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go,
I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe"
This royalty free score was generated by the Traditional Music Library On Line Tunebook (Shareware Version). As-is copies of this score may be freely distributed. Further info from WWW.TRADITIONALMUSIC.CO.UK








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