eList #49

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(FOSTER, Stephen.) Susannah Don't You Cry...
Single sheet measuring 9 ¾” x 7 ¼” headed with an English (Canadian?) Coat of Arms. NP: no publisher, probably circa 1850-70. Some very light dampstaining but in fact fine.

This is a variant version of Foster’s classic tune, first written in 1847. Foster did not have it immediately printed or copyrighted. This version has six verses, the original has three, with verses 1, 3, and 4 of our copy matching fairly closely with the original. There is slight variation in the wording, this version is particularly heavy in a Southern dialect and spelled phonetically (“wid” for “with). Given the date Foster wrote the piece, the coat of arms is odd as this version was discontinued in 1801—used by the first of the three Georges and then changed. The only other copy we have seen a record of is held by Brown University, who call it “possibly an English imprint.” We believe it is more likely of Canadian origin given that we have found no record in English institutions, and the heavy Southern dialect would likely have been incomprehensible to an Englishman. A rare broadside with only one recorded example.

Price: $1,250.00

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