I love that good old song

Ring Ring the Banjo

In his most productive years, he made a little over $1000/year. There were no copyright laws, no royalties , no recordings for sale. You could only publish your song sheets.

A melodic genius with tender, sympathetic lyrics and infectious rhythm, Stephen Foster is often credited as "America's First Composer" and widely regarded as one of the first who made professional songwriting profitable. Fosters' songs were the first genuinely American in theme, characterizing love of home, American temperament, river life and work, politics, battlefields, slavery and plantation life.

Sadly, Stephen Foster died, alone and penniless, in a New York hospital, at 37 years

Oh Susanna

I come from Alabama

  With a banjo on my knee

I'm going to Louisiana,

My true love for to see.

 

It rained all night the day I left

The weather it was dry

The sun so hot, I froze to death

Susannah, don't you cry.

 

Camptown Races

                                             

The Camptown ladies sing this song,

Doo-da, Doo-da

The Camptown racetrack's five miles long

Oh, de doo-da day

 

Goin' to run all night

Goin' to run all day

I bet my money on a bob-tailed nag

Somebody bet on the gray