Unusual Stephen Foster songs

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Quiet1

Cadet
Joined
Nov 3, 2019
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"You know...Camptown Races, Oh Susannah...Stephen stinkin' Foster!"

Yes, that guy.

He wrote more than those songs, though --in fact, he wrote or co-wrote a whole lot of music.

Although some of Stephen Foster's biggest hits were minstrel-show tunes (as in the Tombstone quote above), his other songs range from moralizing ("Don't be Idle") to hilarious ("My Wife is a Most Knowing Woman") to danged sad (fill in the blank...how about "Our Willie Dear is Dying"? ).
They cover topics including lost love, religion, the War and (I think) the Temperance movement ("Comrades, Fill no Glass for Me").

While I was wasting my life on the Internet the other day, something inspired me to look him up, and lo and behold, at least one kind fellow has recorded a bunch of Foster's lesser-known songs and put them on Youtube, with lyrics.

Also, since "life plus 70 years" was a long time ago, IMSLP and LoC also have free sheet music for lots and lots of these tunes, and a simple search should find them if the link doesn't work.

Nothing says "love" like "Public Domain".

Merry (early) Christmas!
-- the Quiet1
P.S.: If you have any favorite Foster songs/renditions, please share them. I would love to indulge.
(Photo copied from IMSLP page linked above)
 

byron ed

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 22, 2017
Location
Midwest
"That's What's The Matter" was Foster's (profit-motivated as much as patriotic) attempt to explain the war from the Union perspective. Fun to play on a period banjo. Jaunty little tune, period rap lyrics one could say:

We live in hard and stirring times, Too sad for mirth, too rough for rhymes;
For songs of peace have lost their chimes, And that’s what’s the matter!
The men we held as brothers true, Have turn’d into a rebel crew;
So now we have to put them thro’, And that’s what’s the matter!


chorus: That’s what’s the matter, The rebels have to scatter;
.............We’ll make them flee, By land and sea, And that’s what’s the matter!

Oh! yes, we thought our neighbors true, Indulg’d them as their mothers do;
Thy storm’d our bright Red, White and Blue, And that’s what’s the matter!
We’ll never give up what we gain, For now we know we must maintain
Our Laws and Rights with might and main; And that’s what’s the matter!

The rebels thought we would divide, And Democrats would take their side;
They then would let the Union slide, And that’s what’s the matter!
But, when the war had once begun, All party feeling soon was gone;
We join’d as brothers, ev’ry one! And that’s what’s the matter!

The Merrimac, with heavy sway, Had made our Fleet an easy prey
The Monitor got in the way, And that’s what’s the matter!
So health to Captain Ericsson, I cannot tell all he has done,
I’d never stop when once begun, And that’s what’s the matter!

We’ve heard of Gen’ral Beauregard, And thought he’d fight us long and hard;
But he has play’d out his last card, And that’s what’s the matter!
So what’s the use to fret and pout, We soon will hear the people shout,

Secession dodge is all play’d out! And that’s what’s the matter!
 
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