Stephen Collins Foster, 1826-64, American songwriter and composer, was born in Lawrenceville, Pennsylvania, now incorporated into Pittsburgh. Foster had little formal training but he gained his skills writing songs for the E.P. CHRISTY minstrel troupe. It was during the first five or six years of his married life that Stephen composed his finest songs:
- Old Folks at Home in 1851;
- Massa's in de Cold Ground in 1852;
- My Old Kentucky Home and Old Dog Tray in 1853;
- Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair in 1854;
- Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming in 1855;
- Gentle Annie in 1856;
- and, Old Black Joe in 1860.
The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home.
'Tis summer the darkies are gay.
The corn top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom,
While the birds makin' music all the day.
The young folk roll on the little cabin floor.
All merry all happy and bright.
By'n by hard times come a knockin' at the door.
Then my old Kentucky home, good night.
Weep no more my lady, oh,
Weep no more today.
We will sing one song of my old Kentucky home,
For my old Kentucky home far away.
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