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Tampa Bay

Words by Walter Cavenaugh
Music by Geo. A. Smith
Copyright 1913


To listen to a high quality MP3 version click here.


Way down where the sweet Magnolias grow,
Big moon is shining bright tonight.
Banjos are playing sweet and low
Where my honey waits for me,
When the breeze, thro’ the trees,
Softly sighs,
I’ll whisper tales of love,
While the stars shine from above.
We will live in dreamland ev’ry day,
Just you and I, forever dear,
Way down on Tampa Bay.

Dreaming on Tampa Bay
When the moonbeams softly play,
Where southern breezes blow,
That’s where I’m longing to go,
Where sweet Magnolias bloom,
Beneath the southern moon,
Oh take me far away,
On Tampa Bay.

“Tampa Bay” is an example of a novelty song, a genre that was popular during the first decades of the twentieth century. Novelty songs are a form of popular music that may be amusing or silly, perhaps require certain instrumentation, or encapsulate a unique musical style. Such music could be heard in Vaudeville, a type of entertainment consisting of a variety of singing, dancing and comedy. This arrangement employs instruments that might be heard in popular music venues around Tampa Bay in the twenty-first century: steel drums, guitar and upright bass.

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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