Stephen Foster Wrote THAT Song?

I’m chilling out on this Sunday evening, and my husband and I are watching A Million Ways to Die in the West. There’s a musical/dance sequence in the movie featuring a song called If You’ve Only Got A Moustache. All this time I figured it was just a song written for the movie, which features a moustache-wearing Neil Patrick Harris, who runs a shop called The Moustachery.


The If You’ve Only Got A Moustache sequence in A Million Ways to Die In The West.

Nope…Stephen Foster wrote that song! It is on his list of songs which you can view here .

Here is a snippet of lyrics from the “Moustache” song:

You may not have the looks,
You may not have the dash
but you’ll win yourself a girl
If you’ve only got a moustache,
A moustache, a moustache,
If you’ve only got a moustache.

He was also credited with writing about 199 other songs during his life, which ended when he was just 37 years old. His biggest “hit” songs include Oh Susanna, Camptown Races, My Old Kentucky Home (official state song of Kentucky), Old Folks at Home (aka Swanee River, Florida’s official state song) and Beautiful Dreamer. He died penniless – and of fever in New York City in 1864. He wound up accidentally cutting his neck open and died in a pool of blood.


Chances are you’ve heard some of Stephen Foster’s songs during your lifetime – even if you’ve never watched a Looney Tunes cartoon!

This means Stephen Foster was one of the earliest “rock stars” to die young. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died at age 35 in 1791, Amy Winehouse died at age 27 in 2011, Jim Morrison died at age 27 in 1971, Jimi Hendrix died in 1970 at age 27, and Janis Joplin died at age (guess which age) in 1970. While we’re still on the subject of rock stars who were 27 when they died, well – Kurt Cobain died in 1994 at…(drum roll) age 27. Just to break up the monotony, singer Jim Croce died at age 30 in 1973 – and Keith Moon and John Bonham both died at age 32 (Moon in 1978, Bonham in 1980).


Want an extra credit assignment? Look into the details of singer Sandy Denny’s death.

Fairport Convention singer Sandy Denny died at age 31 in 1978 (she was the only guest vocalist ever used in a Led Zeppelin song, performing on the song Battle of Evermore). Lastly, while we’re on the subject of bizarre deaths…Sam Cooke was just 33 when he died pantsless in 1964. He was not wearing pants when he died! Pardon me while I parody some lyrics from his song Another Saturday Night.

Another Saturday night and I ain’t got no pants…

Sounds like a good way to spend a Saturday night to me!

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