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Fascinatin' Rhythm: My Dear Old Swanee, 02/15/20


2/15      Episode # 2007

There’s no river named Swanee. But there is one named Suwanee. It runs south and west from the Okefenokee Swamp in Southern Georgia until it empties into the Gulf of Mexico near Suwanee, Florida, just south of the Florida panhandle. That’s the river, but when it turns into a song it uses an elided form and becomes the Swanee, one of the most recognizable rivers in American song. George Gershwin and Irving Caesar wrote the most important Swanee song in 1919, but there are lots of others, going back at least as far as Stephen Foster in 1851.