The Swanee River Lyrics
Way down upon the Swanee River,
Far, far away,
There’s where my heart is turning ever,
There’s where the old folks stay.
All up and down the whole creation,
Sadly I roam,
Still longing for the old plantation,
And for the old folks at home.
All the world is sad and dreary
Everywhere I roam.
O brothers, how my heart grows weary,
Far from the old folks at home.
All ‘round the little farm I wander’d,
When I was young;
Then many happy days I squander’d,
Many the songs I sung.
When I was playing with my brother,
Happy was I.
Oh, take me to my kind old mother,
There let me live and die.
One little hut among the bushes,
One that I love.
Still sadly to my memory rushes,
No matter where I rove.
When will I see the bees a humming,
All ‘round the comb?
When shall I hear the banjo strumming,
Down in my good old home.
“Stephen Collins Foster, one of America’s best-loved songwriters, wrote “Swanee River” (also called “Old Folks at Home”) in 1851. The Suwannee River (which Foster spelled Swanee to better fit the music) is a beautiful waterway that flows from the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia across Florida to the Gulf of Mexico. Swanee River was chosen as the State Song in 1935, and has become a symbol of love for home and family.”
The Young Naturalist’s Guide to Florida, page 6
- Read the selection about Florida’s State Song (page 6)
- Download Florida’s state song, Swanee River, and listen to it with your students.
- Sheet music and song also available here.
Additional online Resources:
Did you know that the composer of Florida’s state song never visited the state of Florida? Visit MyFlorida.com for more interesting facts about Florida state’s song.