By Stephen Collins Foster
(1826 - 1864)
 
 
Massa’s in de Cold Ground
 
 
ROUND de meadows am a-ringing
  De darkeys’ mournful song,
While de mocking-bird am singing,
  Happy as de day am long.
Where de ivy am a-creeping,
  O’er de grassy mound,
Dere old massa am a-sleeping,
  Sleeping in de cold, cold ground.
 
    Down in de corn-field
      Hear dat mournful sound:
    All de darkeys am a-weeping,—
      Massa’s in de cold, cold ground.
 
When de autumn leaves were falling,
  When de days were cold,
’T was hard to hear old massa calling,
  Cayse he was so weak and old.
Now de orange tree am blooming
  On de sandy shore,
Now de summer days am coming,—
  Massa nebber calls no more.
 
Massa make de darkeys love him,
  Cayse he was so kind;
Now dey sadly weep above him,
  Mourning cayse he leave dem behind.
I cannot work before to-morrow,
  Cayse de tear-drop flow;
I try to drive away my sorrow,
  Pickin’ on de old banjo.
 
    Down in de corn-field
      Hear dat mournful sound:
    All de darkeys am a-weeping,—
      Massa’s in de cold, cold ground.
 
 
My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night
 
 
THE SUN shines bright in the old Kentucky home;
  ’T is summer, the darkeys are gay;
The corn-top’s ripe, and the meadow’s in the bloom,
  While the birds make music all the day.
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
  All merry, all happy and bright;
By-’n’-by hard times comes a-knocking at the door:—
  Then my old Kentucky home, good-night!
 
      Weep no more, my lady,
      O, weep no more to-day!
    We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
      For the old Kentucky home, far away.
 
They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
  On the meadow, the hill, and the shore;
They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
  On the bench by the old cabin door.
The day goes by like a shadow o’er the heart,
  With sorrow, where all was delight;
The time has come when the darkeys have to part:—
  Then my old Kentucky home, good-night!
 
The head must bow, and the back will have to bend,
  Wherever the darkey may go;
A few more days, and the trouble all will end,
  In the field where the sugar-canes grow.
A few more days for to tote the weary load,—
  No matter, ’t will never be light;
A few more days till we totter on the road:—
  Then my old Kentucky home, good-night!
 
      Weep no more, my lady,
      O, weep no more to-day!
    We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home,
      For the old Kentucky home, far away.
 
 
Old Folks at Home
 
 
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.
 
    All de world am sad and dreary,
      Eberywhere I roam;
    Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
      Far from de old folks at home!
 
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.
 
One 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 a-humming
  All round de comb?
When will I hear de banjo tumming,
  Down in my good old home?
 
    All de world am sad and dreary,
      Eberywhere I roam,
    Oh, darkeys, how my heart grows weary,
      Far from de old folks at home!
 
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