Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Oh! Susanna

by

Stephen C. Foster



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This was written by Stephen Foster, an American songwriter who wrote many standards in the 1800s, including "Camptown Races," "My Old Kentucky Home" and "Old Folks at Home" ("Swanee River"). This was one of Foster's first songs, and it became an anthem during the 1849 California gold rush.
This song is about a man going to New Orleans to see his beloved Susanna. It's full of longing and desire, as he dreams of Susanna can't wait to see her.
Foster wrote this for minstrel shows, which were popular at the time, and it was often performed in black face. The original second verse was horribly racist, and is not included in modern versions of the song.
Artists to record this song include James Taylor, Carly Simon, Chet Atkins and Gene Autry. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for all above)
There has only been one modern hit version of this song, and it was by The Singing Dogs in 1955. Don Charles from Copenhagen recorded 4 dogs (Dolly, Pearl, Caesar and King) barking and edited them together to create the song. The canine version of "Oh! Susanna" was released as the B-side of the single, with the A-side being a medley of "Pat-A-Cake," "Three Blind Mice" and "Jingle Bells." The B-side was the surprise hit, charting at #22 in the US. The Dogs' version of "Jingle Bells" was re-released in 1970 and has become a modest Christmas hit.
Stephen C. Foster
More Stephen C. Foster songs
More songs about desire or longing

Comments (1):

The Byrds performed it too.
- Milton, Sao Paulo, Brazil
You have to to post comments.
Lita FordLita Ford
Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.
Boz ScaggsBoz Scaggs
The "Lowdown" and "Lido Shuffle" singer makes a habit of playing with the best in the business.
Tony Hiller and Brotherhood of ManTony Hiller and Brotherhood of Man
The man behind Brotherhood of Man is one of the most prolific and successful songwriters in the UK.
Joe ElyJoe Ely
The renown Texas songwriter has been at it for 40 years, with tales to tell about The Flatlanders and The Clash - that's Joe's Tex-Mex on "Should I Stay or Should I Go?"