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Sheet Music: Oh! Susanna

TitleOh! Susanna
Alternate titlesI Come From Alabama with a Banjo on My Knee
ComposerStephen Foster (1826–1864)
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyG major
RangeG4–E5
Time signature2/4
Tempo100 BPM
Performance time1:30
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (76 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (8 kB) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (6 kB) MP3 (1.1 MB)
Date added2009-09-08
Last updated2009-09-08
CategoriesBlackface minstrel songs, Campfire songs, Polkas, Traditional/Folk

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Tuesday 8 September 2009

Tune of the Day: Oh! Susanna

American folk song

Written by Stephen Foster, this famous song was first published in 1848. Popularly associated with the California Gold Rush, it is also occasionally called “Banjo on My Knee”, which by the way is the title of a 1936 film.

Probably by fortuitous coincidence rather than design, the song appeared in the public eye at the same time as the new polka fad was arriving from Europe. While minstrel songs prior to this time were considered uncouth, “Oh! Susanna!” thus provided an entry to the middle-class market.