Old Black Joe

Original Text: 
Foster's Melodies No. 49. Old Black Joe Song Written and Composed by Stephen C. Foster (New York: Firth, Pond, & Co., 1860). Facsimile in Stephen Foster, Minstrel-Show Songs, introduction by H. Wiley Hitchcock, Earlier American Music 14 (New York: Da Capo Press, 1980). M780.82 E13 no. 14 Toronto Metro Public Reference Library.
1[Solo] Gone are the days when my heart was young and gay,
2Gone are my friends from the cotton fields away,
3Gone from the earth to a better land I know,
4I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe."
5[Chorus] I'm coming, I'm coming, for my head is bending low:
6I hear those gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe."
7[Solo] Why do I weep when my heart should feel no pain
8Why do I sigh that my friends come not again,
9Grieving for forms Now departed long a go?
10I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe."
11[Chorus] I'm coming, I'm coming, for my head is bending low:
12I hear those gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe."
13[Solo] Where are the hearts once so happy and so free?
14The children so dear that I held upon my knee,
15Gone to the shore where my soul has longed to go.
16I hear their gentle voices calling "Old Black Joe."
17[Chorus] I'm coming, I'm coming, for my head is bending low:
18I hear those gentle voices calling, "Old Black Joe."
Publication Start Year: 
1860
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
RPO 1998.