with the Light Brown Hair (1854)
Music & Lyrics
by Stephen Foster
To Think About:
for a woman, in this case Foster's ex-wife;
as the epitome of 19th-century "feeling";
- What does
the strophic form of the song contribute to the overall mood?;
- How does the
piano interact with the voice? What is the outward effect of the piano's musical
- How is nostalgia
signaled by the vocal melody at the beginning of each verse?;
- What happens
on the word "Oh!" in each verse? How does it relate to the general
mood of the song? Is it consistent with that mood, or does it depart from
of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air!
I see her tripping where the bright streams play,
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way.
Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour,
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o'er;
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air.
for Jeanie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished, and her sweet songs flown,
Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone.
Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore,
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more;
Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair,
Floating like a vapor on the soft summer air.
- I long
for Jeanie with the day dawn smile,
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,
Sighing round my heart o'er the fond hopes that die;
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again;
Oh, I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow.