The more one learns about Stephen Foster, the more interesting and sad the story becomes. For nearly twenty years around the time of the Civil War, he wrote most of the popular songs published in the United States, yet died flat broke at the age of 37. He sold most of his songs to publishers for lump sums. Some he did not sell at all. Copyright and royalty laws being what they were at the time, up to five or more publishers would have competing editions of his songs in print, and other than whatever he could get up front, he rarely saw any money.
It was first published in 1851, and still today nearly every American knows at least the first line of this song. Foster came from the black-face minstrel show tradition, and the original lyric was written in the slave dialect of that genre.
The immediate popularity of the song initiated the Florida tourist trade to go and see the "Swanee River" Foster wrote about, yet he never visited the Suannee River, nor did he ever set foot in Florida. He simply needed a two-syllable name of a Southern river, and thought "Swanee" to be a better fit than Mississippi's Yazoo or South Carolina's Pee Dee (thankfully).
One stanza is played slowly in a rich chromatic harmonic style, followed by by two that bounce along "played in rag-time."
The lyric has been changed to avoid offending modern ears.
Way down upon the Swanee River,
Far, far away,
That's where my heart is turning ever,
That's where the old folks stay.
All up and down the whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for the old plantation,
And for the old folks at home.
All the world is sad and dreary everywhere I roam.
Oh people, how my heart grows weary
Far from the old folks at home.
All 'round the little farm I wandered,
When I was young.
Then many happy days I squandered,
Many the songs I've sung.
When I was playing with my brother,
Happy was I!
Oh, take me to my kind old mother,
There let me live and die!
One little hut among the bushes,
One that I love,
Still sadly to my mem'ry rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When shall I see the bees a humming,
All 'round the comb?
When shall I hear the banjo strumming,
Down by my good old home?
OLD FOLKS AT HOME, by Stephen Foster, arranged by Tom Kirkland for brass quintet consisting of two trumpets, french horn, trombone, and tuba, comes in a pdf file of 669K, with a seven-page score, five two-page parts, and a license page, eighteen pages in all. Performance time should be about 3:20.
WE SEEK RECORDINGS TO USE AS DEMOS
The majority of our sheet music pieces use electronically-produced demos on the item pages. We would much prefer to use actual recordings, so if you email us a digital recording or link to an online video and we end up using it as a demo on our site (fully credited), we will send you a coupon code good for US$25 toward your next purchase from our site.
BLANKET RECORDING POLICY FOR SHEET MUSIC
Many of our sheet music licenses state that the purchaser does not have the right to record the work. We have modified our policy on this, and unless the license page states that you must obtain permission from a party other than www.tributek.com to record the work, we will allow a small number (less than 50) of copies of an audio or video recording of a live performance to be made and distributed and/or posted to a free web site for viewing/listening, so long as www.tributek.com, the composer, arranger, and lyricist are credited.
A customer commented: "Today I made my first purchase from Tributek. Every aspect of the transaction exceeded my expectations. The description of the product included a Quicktime demo in addition to a clear, interesting, well-written description of the product. The price of the product was a bargain. The ordering process could not have been easier or faster. I will definitely shop with Tributek again!"
Another customer commented: "I would like to compliment you on the ease of purchasing music on-line. I require the music for a wedding in a couple of weeks, and didn't want to wait for music to be sent in the mail. It was great to be able to hear the music and to know the length of the PDF file and performance time."
Another customer writes: "I bought some choral music off your site. It's great. I hope we can do all of it in our church. I don't know how you can sell it so cheap. It's a great service you offer."
NOTE: All www.tributek.com customers are given the opportunity to rate our service, value, and quality, and 98% of www.tributek.com customers who have ever returned satisfaction surveys rate their overall experience doing business with us as "excellent" (71%) or "good" (27%). You can't please all of the people all of the time, but we do try very hard.
www.tributek.com - PO Box 8025 - Elburn IL 60119 USA
Visit our hard goods division at www.tributek.biz
Copyright (c)1999-2017 www.tributek.com
All rights to all text, sounds, and graphics are reserved.
Last update: 5 June 2017