I often refer to a sense of being home when I am describing various aspects of my life journey, especially my spiritual journey. There are many places and experiences that feel like home to me. For example, I feel at home when I am in my house in Seattle; I feel at home when I’m with my children; I feel at home when I am at Seabeck Conference Center on the Olympic Peninsula; I feel at home when I am with Amma and I feel at home when I am in altered states of consciousness that take me to spiritual bliss or deep peace. So these were the types of experiences I thought of when I first discovered that the theme of Song Lyric Sunday this week is Home.
I was REALLY surprised when the song that immediately popped into my head was a song from my childhood: Home on the Range! I can’t remember the last time I thought of that song. In fact, I wonder if my adult children ever sang it when they were young. Do today’s children still sing it around the campfire? I doubt it but I could be very wrong.
When I was a child we watched a lot of movies… and television shows after television was invented… about the Wild West. In 1956, when I was seven or eight, I loved a Disney movie named Westward Ho the Wagons. I often fantasized about what it would have been like for me to be part of a group traveling by wagon to the western frontier.
I found it interesting to read the history of Home on the Range. The lyrics were written by Dr. Brewster Higley in the early 1870’s. Daniel E. Kelly composed the tune sometime after that. It was made the state song of Kansas in 1947. Even prior to that it was considered to be the unofficial anthem of the American West.
Bing Crosby first performed Home on the Range in 1933. It was also recorded by Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Gene Autry, Burl Ives and others. President Franklin Roosevelt once said it was his favorite song.
The many versions of the song do not always have the same lyrics. What stays consistent and is most often sung around the campfire is the first verse and the chorus.
What memories does hearing this song bring back for you?