Adopted as the so-called theme song of the California gold rush, Oh, Susanna is one of the most recognized of all American folk songs. Written in 1847 by Stephen Foster, it later became a very popular song that is still sung today in classrooms across the world. This document contains links to sheet music for the song in PDF and Sibelius SIB formats for all common concert band instruments as well as voice.
Stephen Foster was arguably one of the United States first great composers. His compositions became some of the most recognized and often played tunes of the middle and late 1800's, and Oh, Susanna was one of the most popular. Written as a blackface minstrel song, Oh, Susanna's original lyrics are very heavily laden with what some would call southern drawl. In this pre-civil war time period, Foster's lyrics were designed not to exude the positive qualities of the African Americans, but instead played into the accepted stereotype at the time of a slow, unintelligent "Uncle Tom."
Additional Information and Sheet Music Resources For Oh Susanna
In an excellent Flash based presentation PBS's American Experience has provided a great resource both for educators and for individuals that want to learn more about Foster and the travelling minstrel shows. Also included on the site is an audio recording of Oh, Susanna. At Wikipedia you can learn more about Foster and about Oh Susanna by visiting dozens of other related links about the composer and his repertoire.
You can view the full score of the song and listen to it using the Sibelius Scorch viewer below (requires a plugin from the Sibelius web site). You can also download the individual parts using the links farther down on this page.
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Any arrangements written by Chad Criswell and MusicEdMagic.com are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. There is no charge for these materials, but educational institutions that use them in their classrooms are asked to provide a link either in their printed concert programs or on their school web site linking to MusicEdMagic.com.
|1||Oh Susanna Voice||11.72 KB||1213 times|
|2||Oh Susanna Voice||18.78 KB||1422 times|
|3||Oh Susanna Tuba||10.29 KB||932 times|
|4||Oh Susanna Tuba||17.9 KB||1208 times|
|5||Oh Susanna Trumpet||11.37 KB||905 times|
|6||Oh Susanna Trumpet||17.91 KB||1311 times|
|7||Oh Susanna Trombone||9.91 KB||861 times|
|8||Oh Susanna Trombone||17.85 KB||1299 times|
|9||Oh Susanna Score||24.85 KB||1036 times|
|10||Oh Susanna Score||19.8 KB||1343 times|
|11||Oh Susanna Horn In F||10.06 KB||794 times|
|12||Oh Susanna Horn In F||17.85 KB||1141 times|
|13||Oh Susanna Flute||10.08 KB||981 times|
|14||Oh Susanna Flute||17.86 KB||1190 times|
|15||Oh Susanna Clarinet||11.38 KB||974 times|
|16||Oh Susanna Clarinet||17.9 KB||1334 times|
|17||Oh Susanna Alto Saxophone||10.14 KB||991 times|
|18||Oh Susanna Alto Saxophone||17.86 KB||1271 times|
The lyrics (words) to
Oh I come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee,
I'm going to Louisiana, my true love for to see
It rained all night the day I left, the weather it was dry
The sun so hot I froze to death; Susanna, don't you cry.
Oh, Susanna, don't you cry for me
For I come from Alabama,
With my banjo on my knee.
I had a dream the other night when everything was still,
I thought I saw Susanna coming up the hill,
The buckwheat cake was in her mouth, the tear was in her eye,
I said I'm coming from Dixieland, Susanna don't you cry.
I soon will be in New Orleans
And then I'll look around
And when I find my gal Susanne,
I'll fall upon the ground.