Minstrel Banjo

For enthusiasts of early banjo

Oh! Susanna, written by Stephen Foster. First performed in 1847 and published in 1848.

Views: 186

Comment by Sonny Bryan on August 29, 2016 at 7:22am
Very cool! Great playing!
Comment by Tom Taggart on August 30, 2016 at 10:34pm

Nice.  Great words to the second verse too.

Comment by Carl Aspler on August 31, 2016 at 7:25pm

very good.

Comment by Tom Berghan on September 1, 2016 at 1:20am
Thanks Tom! (Taggart). Whenever I encounter the n-word I rewrite the verse, but I always make great effort to keep the style of the author and in this case maintain the joke about the "electric fluid." I appreciate your comment and your attention to detail! Best Wishes, Tom (Berghan)
Comment by Richard Bugdal on September 2, 2016 at 10:48am

 A fan of your on BHO and now a fan of yours on Minstrel Banjo.

Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on January 28, 2017 at 4:59pm

I have never found a very good explanation about what "electric fluid" is supposed to represent.  anyone here know the answer?

Comment by Tom Berghan on January 29, 2017 at 3:53am
>>>I have never found a very good explanation about what "electric fluid" is supposed to represent. anyone here know the answer?br />
Yes, "Electric Fluid" simply means electrical current with regard to the, then, brand new technology, the telegraph. Of course people naturally had some apprehension about electricity and we're a bit afraid of it. This line is of course sensationalistic. So with regard to the history of industry, technology and communication, the verse is extremely interesting! It is also a pun because he jumps about the telegraph which was a well known river boat on the Ohio River, as well as a new technology. I really love Stephen Fosters lyrics ... although I did change a few words here and there to make the song acceptable to today's society and morality.
Comment by CURTIS PAYNE on January 31, 2017 at 5:23pm

thanks Tom, I was reading in John Fogerty's book Fortunate Son that his very first song influence was Stephen Foster, like myself.  We learned his songs in grade school. 

Comment by Tom Berghan on January 31, 2017 at 6:13pm
>>>"We learned Foster's songs in grade school"br /> Me too! I'm 64. When I was in grade school the music teacher came around to the school once a week and taught us songs. Of course we learned a few Foster songs as well as Guthrie songs and others. Now, fast forward to just yesterday - I had a couple kids come to the house selling Girl Scout cookies. They came in and saw my gourd banjo and wanted to hear it played of course. So I played and sang Oh Susanna! I said "I bet you know that one huh?!" They said "No, never heard it, but it's a good song!" It was bitter sweet. The American culture of my youth is fast disappearing.
Comment by Al Smitley on February 1, 2017 at 7:06am

Wow!  That's surprising.  I thought everyone, even in other countries, was familiar with "Oh! Susanna".  Kids often make up their own words to known simple melodies (contrafacta).  I wonder if they still do that.  My ex-wife (5 years younger than I) used to sing, "Jingle bells, Batman smells, Robin laid an egg!"


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