My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night! (1853)

“My Old Kentucky Home, Good-Night!” was adopted by the state legislature as the Kentucky state song in 1928 and the lyrics updated in 1986. It was written by Stephen Foster in 1853 and is said to have been inspired by Federal Hill, the home of his Rowan cousins in Bardstown. Federal Hill is now a part of My Old Kentucky State Park.

The sun shines bright in My Old Kentucky Home,
'Tis summer, the people are gay;
The corn-top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom
While the birds make music all the day.

The young folks roll on the little cabin floor,
All merry, all happy and bright;
By 'n' by hard times comes a knocking at the door,
Then My Old Kentucky Home, good night!

Chorus

Weep no more my lady
Oh weep no more today;
We will sing one song
For My Old Kentucky Home
For My Old Kentucky Home, far away

They hunt no more for the possum and the coon,
On meadow, the hill and the shore,
They sing no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the bench by the old cabin door.

The day goes by like a shadow o'er the heart,
With sorrow, where all was delight,
The time has come when the darkies have to part,
Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.

Chorus

The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the darky may go;
A few more days, and the trouble all will end,
In the field where the sugar-canes grow;

A few more days for to tote the weary load,
No matter, 'twill never be light;
A few more days till we totter on the road,
Then my old Kentucky home, goodnight.

Chorus

UK Home Page Kentucky Atlas