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Subject: [Irish Genealogy] "Gentle Annie Ballad" - Stephen Collins FOSTER(1826-1864) - b. PA, w/Co. Derry, IRE roots
Date: Fri, 18 Mar 2011 06:01:32 +0000 (UTC)
In-Reply-To: <1006533649.2701890.1300428077610.JavaMail.root@sz0160a.emeryville.ca.mail.comcast.net>


GENTLE ANNIE BALLAD

Thou will come no more, gentle Annie,
Like a flower thy spirit did depart
Thou art gone, alas! like the many
That have bloomed in the summer of my heart

Chorus:
Shall we never more behold thee;
Never hear thy winning voice again
When the Springtime comes, gentle Annie
When the wild flowers are scattered o'er the plain?

We have roamed and loved mid the bowers
When thy downy cheeks were in their bloom;
Now I stand alone mid the flowers
When they mingle their perfume o'er thy tomb.

Chorus:
Shall we never more behold thee;
Never hear thy winning voice again
When the Springtime comes, gentle Annie
When the wild flowers are scattered o'er the plain?

Ah ! the hours grow sad while I ponder
Near the silent spot where thou are laid,
And my heart bows down when I wander
By the streams and the meadows where we strayed.

Chorus:
Shall we never more behold thee;
Never hear thy winning voice again
When the Springtime comes, gentle Annie
When the wild flowers are scattered o'er the plain?

Ah! the hours grow sad while I ponder
Near the silent spot where thou are laid,
And my heart bows down when I wander
By the streams and the meadows where we strayed.

Chorus:
Shall we never more behold thee;
Never hear thy winning voice again
When the Springtime comes, gentle Annie
When the wild flowers are scattered o'er the plain?

Stephen Collins F oster's "Gentle Annie" is based on a true story according to his brother, Morrison. Young Annie was sent to the dry good store one night in a storm when a team of horses were spooked, perhaps by lightning. Annie was trampled to death. Foster was dressed for an evening engagement, but went to the girl's home, his neighbors, as soon as he heard of the tragedy. He remained throughout the evening to offer comfort to her grieving parents.



Stephen Collins Foster was born on July 4, 1826, near Lawrenceville, PA (now part of Pittsburg). His family had roots in Co. Derry, Ireland. At the age of six Stephen taught himself to play the clarinet, and he could pick up any tune by ear. He was the son of William Barcley Foster and Elisa Clayland (Tomlinson) Foster and had three sisters and four brothers; one brother died as an infant. In 1850 Foster married Jane Denny McDowell. Foster wrote many lovely ballads including "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair." His "Beautiful Dreamer" was written just two years before his death.

Foster may be best known for his sentimental minstrel songs. His "Oh! Susanna" became the favorite song of the California gold rush 'forty-niners.' A poor businessman, Foster sold many of his songs for little money, struggling against illness, poverty and alcoholism. Some of his songs became so popular during his lifetime that they were adapted (with suitable words) for Sunday school use. In all, her wrote more than 200 songs, the words as well as the music for most of them. His songs were said to be favorites of President Abraham Lincoln. Because they are deeply rooted in American folk traditions, the best of Foster's song have become part of the American cultural heritage.


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