The Swanee River
Folks at Home)
Stephen C. Foster
down upon de Swanee Ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning
Dere's wha de old folks stay.
All up and down de whole
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old
And for de old folks at home.
de world am sad and dreary,
Eb-rywhere I roam;
Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows
Far from de old folks at home!
round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I
Many de songs I sung.
When I was playing wid my
Happy was I;
Oh, take me to my kind old
Dere let me live and die.
little hut among de bushes,
One dat I love
Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see de bees
All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo
Down in my good old home?
Stephen C. Foster, one of
America's Best-loved musical
storytellers, wrote "The Swanee
River (Old Folks at Home)" in 1851.
A memorial center at White Springs
honors Foster, who authored about
200 songs during his prolific
The Suwannee River flows southerly
from the Okeefenokee Swamp in
Georgia to the Gulf of Mexico in
Florida, topographically slicing the
Florida panhandle from the rest of
After Foster wrote "The Swanee
River" in 1851, he sold it to famed
minstrelman E. P. Christy. Foster is
reported to have chosen the "Swanee"
because its two-syllable cadence fit
nicely into the music he had
composed. It could not have been due
to a familiarity with the river's
Florida section, since Foster never
visited the state.
Through House Concurrent Resolution
No. 22 in 1935, S. P. Robineau of
Miami successfully entered "The
Swanee River" as the official state
song, replacing "Florida, My
Florida," which had been adopted as
the State Song in 1913. By 1935
Foster's rightful position as a
writer and composer had been