Why Have My Loved Ones Gone?
Written by Foster/trad., arr. by Thompson
Appears on   1000 Years of Popular Music   (2003)

Why have my loved ones gone,
Like the dew 'neath the early sun?
Why am I left alone,
While all their troubles here done?
My days of youth have passed away
And the shades of life are near,
But I still remain to mourn the happy days
Where dear departed friends were here.
Why have my loved ones gone,
Gone to return no more
Calmly gliding o'er a Summer sea
Whilst I'm left plodding on the shore?

Why have my loved ones gone,
From the joys and pains of life?
Why do I still live on,
Alone to battle in the strife?
Alone to struggle in the fray,
Till my earthly cares are done;
While the young, the fair have vanished from the day,
Before their sorrows had begun.

Why have my loved ones gone,
While the Springtime is on the breeze?
Gliding the hill side farm,
And breathing music throe the trees!
The birds are singing in the air,
And the flowers are in their bloom;
All things around are beautiful and fair
But still my spirit lies in gloom.

Did Stephen Foster's love of Black music help prolong racial stereotypes or break down the barriers? This seems a more personal song. He died in New York in poverty, having given away his copyrights.