What is home? I don’t know anymore. Wherever I am staying I suppose — the earth?
People ask me where I actually live. I tell them, ‘Scotland is where I keep my stuff.’
Fred said, ‘Home is where the heart is.’ He suggested that home is where you live with your mate, your partner, soul mate, significant other(s). You might move from place to place but emotional connection defines a place as ‘home’.
We talked about the concept of a ‘spiritual home’. I’ve heard folk say: ‘Scotland (or Iona, or Ireland or… you name it) is my spiritual home’, as though spirit is at home in some places but not others.
Isn’t our spiritual home Nirvana, heaven, oblivion, transcendence, spiritual bliss? Isn’t the spiritual home more within than without?
Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m a goin’ home;
Quiet-like, some still day, I’m jes’ goin’ home.
It’s not far, jes’ close by,
Through an open door;
Work all done, care laid by,
Goin’ to fear no more
Mother’s there ‘spectin’ me,
Father’s waitin’ too;
Lots o’ folks gather’d there,
All the friends I knew
Goin’ home, goin’ home, I’m a goin’ home
Quiet-like, some still day, I’m jes’ goin’ home
Nothing’s lost, all’s gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
no more longin’ for the day
Goin’ to roam no more
Mornin’ star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life just begun
There’s no break, there’s no end,
Jes’a livin’ on;
Wide awake, with a smile
Goin’ on and on.
Goin home goin home, I’m jes’ goin’ home
It’s not far, jes’ close by, through an open door
I’m a goin’ home
I’m a goin’ home
Home, 9:30 Sunday morning. The winter sun at my kitchen window.
Like Mole in Wind in the Willows I enjoy coming back to my own place. My flat is in a building that dates from 1878. The stone walls you can see from the street are two feet thick, with tall sash windows to the front rooms. A red brick addition at the rear of the building, containing dining room and kitchen, dates from about the turn of the century – oops – I mean the turn of the 19th century of course.
I love the large bath, the cosy rooms, my familiar things; the old chaise longue where I can slump with a book, glass of red wine or pot of tea; visitors; the store on the corner just across from my place that sells everything from soup to nuts and stays open to 10:00 pm; butcher, baker, deli, fishmonger, co-op all just a two minute stroll away; Greyfriars, a tiny Episcopalian church, dating from the 15th century; the pretty harbor and the scenic Dee walk; the road out…..
Did Dvorak have anything to do with writing the words to “Goin’ Home”?
“Goin’ Home”was actually written by one of Dvorak’s pupils, William Arms Fisher (1861-1948), who adapted and arranged the Largo theme and added his own words. This is part of what Fisher wrote in the published sheet music of his song, “Goin’ Home” (Oliver Ditson Company):
The Largo, with its haunting English horn solo, is the outpouring of Dvorak’s own home-longing, with something of the loneliness of far-off prairie horizons, the faint memory of the red-man’s bygone days, and a sense of the tragedy of the black-man as it sings in his “spirituals.” Deeper still it is a moving expression of that nostalgia of the soul all human beings feel. That the lyric opening theme of the Largo should spontaneously suggest the words ‘Goin’ home, goin’ home’ is natural enough, and that the lines that follow the melody should take the form of a negro spiritual accords with the genesis of the symphony.
American Music Preservation com
“Home is where one starts from” TS Elliot
I always enjoy hearing about your travels. It occurs to you that I don’t really know where you are “from.” Of where you feel “at home.” For me, I am “at home” on the water or in the woods. Which doesn’t happen often enough, but I know the feeling when it comes over me.
It’s an interesting question and one I can’t answer in just a word or two or maybe not at all. I know where I don’t feel at home. I don’t feel at home in a shopping mall or in big hotels like those in Las Vegas. I become disoriented when I’m in a place with mirrors, shiny surfaces, bright lights and a wall of noise. I prefer the street market to the supermarket. I prefer the smell of sweat to the smell of strong deodorants. I am good at sleeping on benches and travelling with just one small bag. Maybe I am an incipient bag lady. I think I’m a traveler at heart, you know, a nomad. I should buy a camel or a horse drawn caravan and indulge my eccentricity to the fullest. I was born and lived my early life in Lanarkshire, Scotland. We lived in poverty and we lived in slums. That’s where I’m from.