Goin’ Home

Writer(s): William Arms Fisher
Adapted from: New World Symphony by Dvorak

This version is from a US Treasury-sponsored “Guest Star” radio show in
December, 1948 promoting the sale of US Savings Bonds.

Frank speaks: Wherever we may be along about this time of year, our hearts become sentimental pilgrims and head for home. Because home is where we all discover that Christmas is one time of the year when we don’t have to be wealthy to be rich. Some of us remember Christmas as the time when Dad gave us our first gold watch. Others remember it as the time when a charity organization delivered a Christmas basket to the doorstep before dawn, so the neighbors wouldn’t see and Mother wouldn’t be embarrassed. But whether the hearth that cheered your family was a fireplace of marble or a kitchen stove of cast iron, you’ll remember that your home was the richest place on earth, warmed by the richest spirit on earth, the spirit of Christmas. And that’s why I’ve chosen this next song to sing as a Christmas song. It’s not a carol, it’s just a beautiful pathway of friendly and understanding music up which our hearts may travel as they make their Yuletide pilgrimage goin’ home.

Frank sings:
Goin’ home, goin’ home
I’m a’goin’ home
Quiet-like, some still day
I’m a’goin’ home
It’s not far, just close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Goin’ta fear no more
Mother’s there, ‘spectin’ me
Father’s waitin’, too
Lots of folks gathered there
All the friends I knew

Frank speaks: One of the most precious gifts we have throughout the year is one we often forget, the precious gift of freedom. Freedom to work, to play, to worship as we please. Freedom to decided how we’ll handle our own future, ’cause we can make our future and that of our families a secure one though saving. We can buy Savings Bonds to take care of that new home or an education for our kids. No one says we hafta buy ’em, we wanna buy ’em, ’cause they’re not only an investment in our own future, they’re an investment in the finest country in the world. So let me urge you sincerely, as we look toward a new year, to plan for making it a secure year, for the regular purchase of US Savings Bonds. So long, everybody, and Merry Christmas.

NOTE: This is an interesting unique take on this tune. Classical composer Anton Dvorak, while visiting the United States in the early 1800’s, heard what was considered to be a “Negro spiritual” that stuck with him when he returned to Europe. He liked it so much that he made it part of his “New World Symphony.” On all other versions I’ve ever heard, including one by Paul Robeson, it is treated as a spiritual in the manner of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The lyrics clearly suggest a weak and weary slave looking forward to death as the only possible relief from his bondage. Frank’s is the first I’ve heard to treat it as a “Christmas song.”

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