This site includes only authentic works of Stephen Foster. But derivata, pirate editions and songs published under pseudonyms are a common practice during Foster’s livetime and in the decades following his death.

One problem of authenticity was Foster himself. He presented manuscript copies of his compositions to friends and minstrel performers before publication. So Susanna was published in more than twenty different unauthorized editions for example. And in addition he wrote some of his compositions under pseudonyms (e.g. My Hopes Have Departed Forever).

Because Stephen Foster became synonymous with minstrel songs, a number of songs became erroneously attributed to him (e.g. Carry Me Back to Old Virginny or Darling Nelly Grey). Also some titles erroneously attached to him by carelessness, like The Mocking Bird. Foster’s early fame was a chance to take commercial advantage of his name by unscrupulous publishers. In hope of increasing sales many songs which include neither music nor lyrics by Foster were attributed to him. At last, in many cases the title page of songs with guitar accompaniment doesn't guarantee that Foster has written the arrangement. This was a result of his contracts with Firth, Pond & Co.

The Tioga Waltz

 

The Tioga Waltz
(pub. by Morrison Foster,
Edgeworth, Pa., 1896)

This song is partly composed by S. Foster, but Morrison Foster’s way of recollection of the orginal composition for flutes is unknown -- so nobody can say, what is part of S. Foster and what is part of the recollecton by M. F

Way Down South in Alabama

Way Down South in Alabama
(pub. by C. Holt Jr., NY., 1848?)

The stylistic form of the song and a series of vocal phrases seperated by instrumental interjections is atypically and uncommonly for Foster.

Untitled Walz Dedicated to Maria Bach
(pub. by University of Pittsburh Press, Pa., 1985)

This is unlikely a song of Foster, because there is scarcely any stylistic resemblance to any others of Foster’s compositions.

Long Ago Day
(pub. by J. Fisher & Bro., NY., 1931)

The dialect in this song is very unlike that in other Foster songs; the use of other spellings is also suspicious and it is uncharacteristically grounded to the tonic.

This Will Remind You
(pub. by J. Fisher & Bro., NY., 1931)

This song is uncharacteristic for Forster in 1851. He never arranged a chorus and a verse structure for his early parlor songs.

Some Folks
(pub. by William A. Pond & Co., NY.?, 1858?)

Foster did not prepare this arrangement. Very untypical is the heavy use of fingerings.

Camptown Races
(pub. by F. D. Benteen & Co., NY., 1852)

Foster did not prepare this arrangement. Untypical is the single chord introduction and the musical orthography, which differs from that of the later arrangements.

Campton Races
Laura Lee

Laura Lee
(pub. by F. D. Benteen & Co., NY., 1852)

Foster did not prepare this arrangement. Untypical is the single chord introduction and the musical orthography, which differs from that of the later arrangements.

All Day Long

All Day Long
(pub. by J. Fisher & Bro., 1931)

Stylistically this songs is uncharacteristic for Foster. The words Con Espressivo are never used by him before (con espressione or con expression) and the extensive use of octaves in the piano right hand is unprecedented for him. Many other things in the musical arrangement are very untypically too.

Little Mac!
(published by J. Fisher
& Bro., 1931)

These words could not have been written by him definitely, because the Democratic presidential nominees started seven month after his death. In the end, the music paraphrases two of his songs. The opening is nearly identical to Nelly Bly and the chorus based on Better Times Are Coming. He never made a song by combining two other songs.

Little Mac!