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Stephen Collins Foster: Sixty Favorite Songs Paperback – April 29, 2009

2.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (April 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786681489
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786681488
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,821,854 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By JohnnieH on January 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If I had known that this was the authors politically correct version of Stephen Fosters work I would not have bought it. They lyrics and even the titles of the songs (Old Black Joe becomes Poor old Joe, Massas in the cold cold ground becomes Grampas in the cold cold ground) have been changed to suite their views. Now I have to find another Stephen Foster songbook because I know that this is NOT HIS WORK, BUT THE AUTHORS VIEW OF WHAT HIS WORK SHOULD BE. Disgraceful!!!!! I threw this one in the fireplace.
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When I was a boy my father knew (and sometimes sang) the great Foster hits (oh susanna, swanee river, my old kentucky home, jeanie with the light brown hair, poor old joe, and--especially--camptown races). They are all here in wonderfully clear print, playable on piano or (mostly) soprano recorder (I do transpose some songs up one key). This is not the usual MelBay publication (and I do have several that I like) in that it is a somewhat scholarly undertaking--not as scholarly as Stanley Yates' transcriptions of Bach's cello suites but still very carefully done. There is a short preface on Foster's life and the editions used. The editors chose to 'sanitize' Foster by dropping the mock slave dialect and modifying occasional offensive lyrics. Foster himself did this in later songs, and it means that Foster is more likely to survive for his music (that is independent of the lyrics anyway). Physically, the book has glue binding (not spiral) but it seems well done and should last a while. Foster was not the typical American song writer--even Dvorak liked his tunes.
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This book would take three or four pages on some it's songs, so that means turning the pages too much for me. Also there were not my favorites that he does. Odd melodies....:(
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