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My Old Kentucky Home
Stephen Collins Foster

Kentucky adopted "My Old Kentucky Home, Good Night" as its state song in 1928. The phrase "the darkies are gay" has since been replaced with "the people are gay." The inspiration for the song may have been Harriet Beecher Stowe's novel Uncle Tom's Cabin, published in 1851. Foster's first draft in his song workbook is entitled "Poor Uncle Tome, Good Night."

Verse 1:
The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home
'tis summer, the darkies 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,
oh weep no more today.
We will sing on song for the old Kentucky home,
for the old Kentucky home far away.

Verse 2:
They hunt no more for the 'possum and the coon
on meadow, the hill, and the shore.
They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon
on the bench by that 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 darkies have to part
then my old Kentucky home, good night.


Verse 3:
The head must bow and the back will have to bend
wherever the darky may go.
A few more days and the trouble all will end
in the field where sugar-canes may grow.
A few more days for to tote the weary load,
no matter, 'twill never be light.
A few more days 'till we totter on the road,
then my old Kentucky home, good night.


Click HERE to view an original image from Stephen Collins Foster's notebook.

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Last Updated: Tuesday, 09-May-2006 10:39:16 Eastern Daylight Time