O! Susanna

From Vol. 2
Family Favorites

SUGGESTED KEY: A

CAPO: None

CHORD FAMILY: A

TIME SIGNATURE: 4/4

SKILL LEVEL: Easy

A Little About This Song…

Oh! Susanna was written by Stephen Foster, and first published on February 25, 1848. Commonly associated with the California Gold Rush, the song is occasionally called “Banjo on My Knee”. It appeared in the public eye at the same time as a new polka fad was arriving from Europe. While minstrel songs prior to this time were considered uncouth, “Oh! Susanna” had a polka beat and provided an entry to the middle-class market. The original words grew unpopular due to numerous racial references. The amended lyrics shown here have been in use since before the turn of the 20th Century.

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