Thursday, January 03, 2008

Old Folks at Home



No, I'm not referring to the RV Vagabonds, but instead to the song by Stephen Foster, perhaps better known as "Way Down Upon the Suwanee River".

Way down upon de Swanee ribber,
Far, far away,
Dere's wha my heart is turning ebber,
Dere's wha de old folks stay.

All up and down de whole creation
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for de old plantation
And for de old folks at home.

Chorus
All de world am sad and dreary,
Ebry where I roam,
Oh! darkies how my heart grows weary,
Far from de old folks at home.

2nd verse
All round de little farm I wandered
When I was young,
Den many happy days I squandered,
Many de songs I sung.

When I was playing wid my brudder
Happy was I
Oh! take me to my kind old mudder,
Dere let me live and die.

Chorus

3rd verse
One little hut amond de bushes,
One dat I love,
Still sadly to my mem'ry rushes,
No matter where I rove

When will I see de bees a humming
All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo tumming
Down in my good old home?

Part of the fun of the RVing lifestyle comes from being able to visit places you learned about in school many (many) years ago. Growing up with a family who never traveled anywhere, my travels were limited to what I read in books or saw in pictures and my imagination, so being able to see the places I read about and dreamed about bring me great pleasure now. Seeing the "old man on the mountain" in New Hampshire of Hawthorne's famed novel, the great stone faces of Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon--all these and so many more are now a treasured part of our experiences.

Today Denny and I wandered along a horse trail within the Spirit of the Suwanee Music Park where we are camped for the week and discovered the tannin darkened waters of the Suwanee River flowing beside the trail. The tea colored water is clear and the only sound this day is the rustling of the palmettos on the forest floor. The Spanish moss draped high above us in the live oaks and reaching down with long fingers to tickle us makes no sound. We are the only ones wandering the paths on this chilly afternoon and we are quietly grateful for that.

The story about Foster's song is that when Stephen was writing the lyrics to "Old Folks at Home" the first river name suggested was the Yazoo, followed by the Pee Dee, and finally, picked out of an atlas, the Suwanee. Yes, Stephen Foster never saw the Suwanee River, nor did he ever visit Florida, but his song is the state song of Florida and a Stephen Foster State Folk Center is a few miles east of here.

And now that song will be stuck in your mind for the rest of the day, right?

1 comment:

Coll said...

The water looks such a lovely blue in the photo.. and yes.. there goes the song.. loud and clear.. thanks for that. :-)

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