The Great Stephen Foster
He was a remarkable wordsmith the best of the U S of A
And his songs for all races and ages are the living legends of today
As a song writer his name is immortal a doyen of the wordsmith trade
But like us all he too had his vices and for glory in sorrow he paid.
Camptown Races and Oh Susannah and Jeanie With The Light Brown Hair
From the pen of the great Stephen Foster his was a talent that was rare
But like us all he had his vices and in a toilet block he died
From what was diagnosed as alcoholic poisoning some might say a form of suicide.
Old Black Joe and My Old Kentucky Home his songs will live forever more
They are sung in clubs and in bar-rooms far beyond America's shore
The greatest song-writer of a great Nation yet he died in abject poverty
That's life as some people might tell you though life seldom makes sense to me.
He was such a talented person yet with life he struggled to cope
He made and he spent a vast fortune and in life he could not see hope
Yet his life was very successful since his gift to humanity
Are songs that will live on forever his words outlive human mortality
Arguably his Nation's greatest song-writer his songs to millions have brought joy
I heard them sung around the fire place by old men when I was a boy
If you have not heard of Stephen Foster little of song-writers you know
Perhaps the best of a great Nation he died many decades ago.
Comments about this poem (The Great Stephen Foster by Francis Duggan )
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