© 1986 T. Huxtable
Stephen Foster established his reputation as a songwriter in 1848 when he published O Susanna. One hundred years later I was singing Camptown Races, Old Kentucky Home, Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair, Beautiful Dreamer and Old Black Joe, all published between 1850 and 1860. His songs were known and sung by many generations whenever family and friends gathered together. Singing them helped people celebrate their connectedness. My family is scattered between the U.S., Canada, and France, so when I sing this song, I am reminded of my need to unite and I start to feel a lump in my throat. (AMM)
Those whose days were like your own
Are scattered now across the years
Share no countries, plans, or times
Though once we lived on common ground.
Is someone left to know the way,
Protect us, bring us home again?
Sit at table one more time,
Sing that Stephen Foster song?
If we knew then of leaving home,
But tens and twelves are unafraid.
Foresight's dear and hindsight's not,
And far apart is how we've grown.
Roads and paths come overgrown,
Lose the time and lose the way.
Gather those around me now,
I set a table of my own.