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Song lyrics to Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, by Stephen Foster (1854)

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair [song lyrics]

Song lyrics to Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair, by Stephen Foster (1854)

Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair is a parlor song by Stephen Foster. He wrote the song with his estranged wife Jane McDowell in mind. The lyrics allude to a permanent separation.

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I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair
Borne, like a vapor, on the summer air;
I see her tripping where the bright streams play
Happy as the daisies that dance on her way
Many were the wild notes her merry voice would pour
Many were the blithe birds that warbled them o’er:
Oh! I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air

I long for Jeanie with the daydawn smile
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by
Sighing round my heart o’er the fond hopes that die …
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
Oh! I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow

I sigh for Jeanie, but her light form strayed
Far from the fond hearts round her native glade;
Her smiles have vanished and her sweet songs flown
Flitting like the dreams that have cheered us and gone
Now the nodding wild flowers may wither on the shore
While her gentle fingers will cull them no more:
Oh! I sigh for Jeanie with the light brown hair
Floating, like a vapor, on the soft summer air


Recordings, media appearances

  • Bing Crosby (1940), Glenn Miller, Charlie Rich, Violinist Jascha Heifetz
  • Inspiration for the title I Dream of Jeannie
  • Performed in The Abbott and Costello Show episode, Barber Lou
  • The Phil Silvers Show episode, Singing Contest
  • Faces (1968)
  • Beyond Tomorrow (1940)
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