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I've Got the Swanee River Flowing Thru My Veins

Words by Ed Rose
Music by Billy Baskette
Copyright 1919


Also available for download as an MP3 file.



It seems that I must always sing a Dixie song,
Just a good old fashioned Southern song,
Because we all love a Dixie melody,
When I was young, my mammy always sang to me,
And way down in my heart, I've always had a part of D, I, X, I, E.

Along the Swanee spreads the weeping willow tree,
Swaying gently in the southern breeze,
Above the birds sing their sweetest melodies,
When I get back I'll get right down upon my knees,
And then I'll say a pray'r, because I'll be right where I learned my A, B, C's.

I've got the Swanee river flowing thru my veins,
That's why I love those good old-fashioned Dixie strains,
And every twig and tree along its shore,
Brings back to me once more,
Songs that my mammy sang to me, oh melody
I can hear the banjos playing night and day,
And each refrain is in my brain to stay,
Altho I left my heart with someone down in Dixie,
I've got the Sawanee river flowing thru my veins.


Many songs have been written about the Suwannee River. This one represents the spread of popular music that was starting in the early Twentieth-century. This is demonstrated in a line from the song "Old Folks at Home." (popularly is known as "Way Down Upon the Swannee River.") Stephen Foster composed the song. He was one of America's greatest composers. Baskette's tune refers to Foster's famous song at the beginning and the end. The piano style demonstrated in this performance forecasts the "stride piano" sound. This style dominated popular music throughout the 1920's. It eventually evolved into "swing'" in the '30's and '40's.

Credit: QuickTime audio file arranged and performed by Jeff Donovick for the Florida Center for Instructional Technology. Cover scan courtesy of the USF Libraries Digitization Center.


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