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Origin: Home on the Range

DigiTrad:
HOME ON THE RANGE
THE CAMP SONG (Home on the Range)


Related threads:
Origins: Home on the Range - A NewFilm (2)
Lyr Req: Home on the Range (in Italian) (16)
Lyr Req/Add: Kids on the Range (Makem) (7)
Home on the Range - Youtube (5)
Lyr Add: Home on the Front Range (6)
(DTStudy) Lyr Add: Home on the Range & Attribution (38)
Help: Home on the range: composer please (17)
Tune Req: Home on the Range (5)
Tune Add: Home on the Range (1)


rod 10 Sep 98 - 01:27 PM
Barbara 10 Sep 98 - 01:34 PM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 98 - 01:36 PM
Barbara 10 Sep 98 - 01:40 PM
Bert 10 Sep 98 - 05:21 PM
Joe Offer 10 Sep 98 - 08:54 PM
Sheye 10 Sep 98 - 09:34 PM
TonyK 11 Sep 98 - 03:49 PM
sigmoid 11 Sep 98 - 07:08 PM
dick greenhaus 12 Sep 98 - 12:14 PM
Big Mick 12 Sep 98 - 03:22 PM
Joe Offer 12 Sep 98 - 03:31 PM
Jerry Friedman 14 Sep 98 - 12:04 PM
Genie 28 Mar 02 - 10:44 PM
GUEST,Wee Willie. 29 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM
Louie Roy 30 Mar 02 - 02:18 PM
Genie 30 Mar 02 - 02:55 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Mar 02 - 04:19 PM
Genie 30 Mar 02 - 04:54 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 30 Mar 02 - 05:06 PM
Genie 30 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 30 Mar 02 - 07:01 PM
Genie 30 Mar 02 - 07:44 PM
Haruo 31 Mar 02 - 01:02 AM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 02 - 11:58 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 31 Mar 02 - 12:19 PM
Dicho (Frank Staplin) 31 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM
Louie Roy 31 Mar 02 - 02:12 PM
Genie 31 Mar 02 - 11:53 PM
JohnInKansas 22 Jun 13 - 08:32 PM
Ebbie 22 Jun 13 - 11:13 PM
Artful Codger 23 Jun 13 - 01:58 AM
open mike 23 Jun 13 - 12:38 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Jun 13 - 12:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM
JohnInKansas 23 Jun 13 - 02:12 PM
Artful Codger 23 Jun 13 - 04:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Jun 13 - 06:42 PM
kendall 23 Feb 16 - 10:28 AM
Jeri 23 Feb 16 - 10:42 AM
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Subject: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: rod
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 01:27 PM

I am a music teacher and am experimenting with finding resources on the net. I really can't find these words at hand, howewver, so I am giving this a try. Thankyou!


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 01:34 PM

Hi Rod, welcome to Mudcat. See that blue box in the upper right hand corner? Put [home on the range] in the search box, with the brackets around it, and the title will appear on the screen. Clicking on the title will open the song file.
Tho for some odd reason, only the first line of the song is the title file, and the rest of the song is in the next file on your screen, captioned "where the deer and the antelope play"
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOME ON THE RANGE
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 01:36 PM

Hi, Rod - if you put [home on the range] or maybe even home range in the search box on this page, you'll find the song and a parody (click here). The formatting of the original song is goofed up, so I'll post it here:

HOME ON THE RANGE

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

CHO: Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.

How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the lights from the glittering stars
Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

CHORUS

Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down the stream;
There the graceful, white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

CHORUS

Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
The breezes so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home on the range
For all of the cities so bright.

CHORUS

Oh, I love those wild flowers in this dear land of ours,
The curlew I love to hear scream,
And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks
That graze on the mountain tops green.

CHORUS
-----------------------------------------------------------------

This song, according to John Lomax, was first printed in 1911, and for twenty years attracted practically no attention. It is said to have been sung on the doorstep of Franklin D. Roosevelt's home by a group of newspaper reporters the night he was first elected President.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Barbara
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 01:40 PM

HA!, Beat ya, Joe!


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Bert
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 05:21 PM

yet another parody


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 08:54 PM

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play;

....the antelope cheat.

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Sheye
Date: 10 Sep 98 - 09:34 PM

No way Joe!

Barb beat ya fair!!

sheye


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Subject: Home on the Range & FDR
From: TonyK
Date: 11 Sep 98 - 03:49 PM

I heard recently at our folksong weekend that this song was often played for FDR because one night a group of reporters (perhaps the group you alluded to, Joe) asked him what his favorite song was. FDR is reported to have blurted out the first song that came to mind and after that it was played for him almost everywhere he went. I'm told he later confided to a friend that he hated that song but didn't know how to get out of it. TonyK from NE Pa


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: sigmoid
Date: 11 Sep 98 - 07:08 PM

O give me a home where it's all gloom and gloam and the marsupials are all *** where always is heard aaa disturbing werd, and we hafta eat oatmeal all day

O home, home on the range! where the animals are tied up in chains, where politics are fat, and they **** lots of catz, and the next day they do it again.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 12:14 PM

Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam And I'll show you a messy house.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Big Mick
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 03:22 PM

Oh give me a page, where pedantry is the rage And Joe O. with the lyric is always first Til finally one day, Barb Shaw got her way and beat him to the draw with the verse.

Homepage, Homepage on the 'Cat Where Max, Dick, Sylvia et al do chat Where we all laugh when Ole Joe Quotes a song from Perry Como Then back to a string of "nothing" do lapse.

(Boy does that stink or what, but what the hay, I done did it kwik) **grin**

Mick


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Joe Offer
Date: 12 Sep 98 - 03:31 PM

Good song, Mick, but wrong Barbara.....
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 14 Sep 98 - 12:04 PM

Bert's song is from one of Asimov's science articles in Fantasy and Science Fiction, but Asimov attributes it at least partly to Randall Garrett (sp?).

In the style of Walt Kelly, but with no apologies:

Oh give me a pome
About Buffalo or Rome,
With a beer handy and a low play,
Where seldom misheard
Is this courage in word,
And these guys all knock loud the old way.

Pome, pome I'll derange,
Where I'd hear randy Auntie Low play,
And sell them his herd
Of obscure, raging words
And disguise her knot proudly all day.

Copyright by Jerry Friedman, 1985 or '86 or some year like that. Slightly revised just for you.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Genie
Date: 28 Mar 02 - 10:44 PM

Joe,

I'm told that Home On The Range became FDR's favorite song (thus enhancing its popularity).  It WAS his favorite song, that is, until everybody found out it was and started playing it everywhere he went, till he got sick of it!

Genie


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: GUEST,Wee Willie.
Date: 29 Mar 02 - 02:58 PM

Listen to Bing Crosby sing Home on the Range and particulary to the second verse, a truly brilliant experience of all that is good in music. I kid you not, listen and come back to this thread and tell me I am wrong. Can be heard on 1930S Music in Real Audio. Wee Willie.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Louie Roy
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:18 PM

Joe,I disagree with you on the date 1911.My book list it as traditional 1873 38 years earlier.Louie Roy


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Genie
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 02:55 PM

Actually, according to my sources [including Robert Fulghum], Brewster Higley wrote the poem "My Western Home," which later became "Home On the Range" ca. 1849. Dan Kelly wrote the music about 10 years later.

I understand that there was some legal wrangling over copyright in the later 19th C., and I don't know for sure when the first sheet music of the song was printed.

But if "traditional" means "of unknown authorship," I don't think the term applies to "Home on The Range." Lots of times folks printing out fake books or song sheets write "traditional" just because the song's been around a while and they don't know who wrote it.

Genie


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Subject: ADD: Western Home (Home on the Range)
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 04:19 PM

The 1911 date may come from Lomax, who said he picked up the song in 1908 from Bill Jack Curry, a Negro saloonkeeper in San Antonio, formerly a cook with cow outfits. He published it in his anthology in 1910, but, typically, nary a word about where the song came from ("Cowboy Songs," 1910, Macmillan, pp. 39-43 in the 1925 new edition).
Genie is correct about the authors, but the date is too early. Supposedly published in 1873 in the Smith County Pioneer, an actual copy of the song was found in the 1876 Kirwin (Kansas) Chief as "Western Home" with Dr. Higley's by-line.

Lyr. Add: WESTERN HOME

Oh give me a home where the Buffalo roam,
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where never is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.
A home! A home!
Where the Deer and the Antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.

Oh! give me land where the bright diamond sand,
Throws its light from the glittering streams,
Where glideth along the graceful white swan,
Like the maid in her heavenly dreams.
A home! A home!

Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;
Or the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.
A home! A home!

How often at night, when the heavens are bright,
With the light of the twinkling stars,
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours.
A home! A home!

I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours,
I love the wild curlew's shrill scream;
The bluffs and white rocks, and antelope flocks,
That graze on the mountains so green.
A home! A home!

The air is so pure and the breezes so free,
The zephyrs so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home here to range,
Forever in azures so bright.
A home! A home!

Note "...my home here to range." The reference to "poisonous herbiage" struck a chord. Riders here are always on the lookout when moving cattle to new grazing. The movements from the plains and lower foothills to leased forest service land has been going on so long that most of the poisonous stuff has been removed.

White, John I., 1975, "Git Along, Little Dogies," Univ. Illinois Press, pp. 153-166, with music and photos of Higley, Kelly, and the newspaper.
Lomax, always careless with attributions, never acknowledged Dr. Higley's authorship (Higley died in 1911) and suggested that the song was even older.
There was a lot of legal wrangling, all right, especially from William Goodwin and his wife, who wrote "An Arizona Home." (There was also a claim by Swartz, who wrote "Colorado Home," and others). In 1935, the lawyer for the Goodwins "called it quits." White covers this in detail.
I don't know if anything earlier has come to light. Genie, any supporting data?
The Journal of American Folklore published an article with the song in 1909 (with Beaver River changed to Platte): G. F. Wills, "Songs of the Western Cowboys," and two verses which are "strangers." Lomax should have seen this, but did not mention it in his publications.
Shall we say that the song is composed and not traditional, with covers by Goodwin, Swartz, Lomax, White, Dalhart, etc.? (He, he, he)


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Genie
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 04:54 PM

Thanks for posting Dr. Higley's poem, Dicho. I'm checking for more definitive info, but I do believe the poem was written a number of years before it was published (hence, perhaps, the copyright wrangling).

Robert Fulghum says Higley was a big-city surgeon in the east, whose alcoholism led him to at least two divorces and a practice that was in shambles. In desperation, he packed up and moved to a small homestead in Kansas, dried out, set up a new, small-but-successful practice, and met a new love whom he married and stayed with till death parted them. He was so overjoyed at having found peace and contentment "out west" that he wrote the poem ca. 1850 as a tribute.

Kansas reciprocated later in the 19th C. by adopting the Higley/Kelly song in this form as its state song.
Note that the Kansas song includes the verse: "The red man was pressed from his home in the west,
And it's likely he'll no more return
To the banks of Red River, where seldom, if ever
His flickering campfires will burn."

I had heard this verse before and seen it printed in an old [ca. 1920s or 1930s?] Girl Scout songbook, but I wondered if it was part of the original poem. Apparently not, but I wonder if it was added in the 19th C.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 05:06 PM

The lawsuits were all centered on songs written after 1880, so of course the suits collapsed when the newspaper came to light. I haven't seen Fulgham. Thanks for the Kansas State Song. The phrase "Home on the Range" also is a change from the original. "...my home here to range" was the phrase used.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WESTERN HOME
From: Genie
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 05:42 PM

Here is a brief bio of Higley

From
“The official story of Home On The Range”
including the story of the copyright lawsuit and its resolution.

The Official story of “Home on the Range.”

The guitar that was... played by Clarence Harlan on the dance where “Home on the Range” was first played... had belonged to Virginia D. Harlan who had died in 1866 at the birth of young Virgie, who sang the first [time the song was performed in public].

...The words were written from a poem that Dr. Brewster M. Higley had written he was an early Pioneer of in Smith County, Kansas in 1871. The poem was called “Oh give me a Home.” Record show that probates judge John Carter Harlan, father to Eugene and Clarence, also father-in-law to Dan Kelley, the three composed the Harlan Brother orchestra, and Kelley who wrote the music and played the song.
...
The first time Dr. Higley went to Gaylord, Kansas, he took his verses with him and showed them to Dan Kelley. Kelley, a member of the Harlan Brother orchestra, had been a bugler in the Union army during the Civil War and had the ability to compose music. On the way home he hummed while he thought of the words Dr. Higley had written. As soon as he got home he got a piece of wrapping paper and put down the notes, then he hummed the tune and played it on his violin until it was safely fixed in his mind.

The next evening, Kelley went to the home of Judge John Harlan and Mrs. Sarah Jane Harlan near the present town of Harlan to call on their daughter, Miss Lulu, and to see how her brother, Cal and Gene, liked the tune. The song was first played that night with Gene and Dan playing violins and Cal plucking his guitar.

Judge Harlan pronounced it a good song but told them it should have some sort of a refrain. The three worked it out together, [using] “ A home, a home where the deer and the antelope play,” ... instead of, “Home, home on the Range, where the deer and the antelope play,” as it is commonly sung today.

Mrs. Harlan liked the song and the tune and the refrain the boys had composed. Judge Harlan’s little granddaughter, Virgie, age 9, caught up the song quickly and sang with the men as they played the new melody and sang the song. “Why don’t we have a dance and surprise everybody? We’ll sing this song for them, “all of us,” the little girl suggested.

The dance was held on a Friday night in April 1873, at the Harlan home. Young people from miles around came for the social event. Dancing stopped for refreshments at 11 o’clock. Afterwards Kelley began to play the music on his violin and he and Virgie sang the words. (I have a copy of that recording). It was a hit from the start and it spread over the country as if magic.

In later years, a lawsuit was filed on the original writing and music of “Home on the Range.” The sudden success of the song, which was being played on every radio station in the land, caused William and Mary Goodwin of Tempe, Ariz. to bring suit for infringement of copyright against 35 individuals and corporations, including National Broadcasting Co. and many large publishing houses in the courts of New York in 1934. They asked $5000,000 damages. They claimed that Goodwin had written the words of a song entitled” My Arizona Home” and Mrs. Goodwin the melody and that the copyright had been registered on February 27, 1905.

The suit caused the song to be taken off the air. Publishing ceased and professional singers no longer used it.

Samuel Moanfeldt, a New York lawyer, was employed ... to investigate the claimants and to discover...the origins of the words and music. ...He found various versions of the song, including “Colorado Home” [which] pre-dated “My Arizona Home.” In the meantime the lawyer was receiving many letters that pointed to Smith County, Kansas as the origin of the song and one lady wrote she had a scrapbook which indicated that the song had appeared in Smith County Pioneer in 1873. He ... found that the article was a reprint and a file for that early year was not available.

Moanfeldt then contacted L. T. “Trube” Reese of Smith Center, who told him of the time he discovered the words on the piece of fool scrap [foolscap?] paper in Dr. Higley’s cabin back in 1873. “He then found Clarence “Cal” Harlan 1873... then 86 years old. Discovering that [Cal had been] a member of the ... Harlan Brothers orchestra, he asked [him] to sing it. Although nearly blind at the time, Mr. Harlan brought out his guitar and played and sang the song from memory. “He didn’t miss a word,” Mr. Moanfeldt reported and he sang it as it appeared in the Pioneer reprint. The lawyer made With [recordings of Mr. Harlan’s rendition of the song to use as evidence] and affidavits from numerous other people, Moanfeldt returned to New York 1936 with the proof that ... the words were written by Higley and that Kelley supplied the music.

...The Goodwins lost their lawsuit and the old cabin on Beaver creek became a place of historical importance. Following the establishment of the fact that “Home On the Range”, was written in Smith county, Kansas, Dr. I. E. Nickell, State Representative in 1947, introduced a bill into the House of Representative of Kansas Legislature to make it the official state song. ...The ... song was officially adopted June 30,1947.

Here are the ... words that Clarence (Cal), Eugene (Gene) Harlan and Dan Kelley came up with [based on Brewster Higley’s poem] for that first performance in April, 1973.

THE WESTERN HOME

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

CHORUS: A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play,
Where never is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.

Oh, give me land the land where the bright diamond sand
Throws its light on the glittering stream,
Where glideth along the graceful white swan
Like a maid in her heavenly dream.

Oh, give me the gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life stream of buoyancy flows
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom, if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

I love the wild flow’rs in this bright land of ours.
I love, too, the wild curlew’s scream,
The bluffs and white rocks and antelope flocks
That graze on the mountain so green.

How often at night, when the heavens were bright
By the light of the twinkling stars,
Have I stood here amazed and asked, as I gazed,
If their glory exceeds that of ours.

The air is so clear, the breeze so pure,
The zephyr so balmy and light;
I would not exchange my home here on range,
Forever in azure so bright.

Genie

Some formatting problems fixed. --JoeClone, 12-Apr-02.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 07:01 PM

Thanks Genie!! That's great.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Genie
Date: 30 Mar 02 - 07:44 PM

No problem, George. This discussion spurred me to do a google search into some questions I'd had in mind for quite a while.

I'm still wondering where and when the "...red man..." verse is from.

Genie


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Haruo
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 01:02 AM

FWIW, I just last week received email documenting the fact that the traditional Esperanto version of Home on the Range, which I attributed with uncertainty to William Solzbacher, is actually the work of George Allan Connor. His authorship may have been suppressed for political reasons (as he was the leader of the Esperanto Association of North America in the years when it became an ally of Joe McCarthy). I'm also unsure of the author of the other widely sung version, Donu hejmon al mi; my guess is it's Marta Evans's revision of a version by David Richardson.

Liland


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:58 AM

It is good to have the story with some anecdotal material. A few points of clarification.
Atty. Moenfeldt collected affidavits in Missouri, Colorado and Kansas attesting to the existence of the song before the 1905 copyright date of the Goodwins. The recording he made of Clarence Harlan singing the song matched the version published in the 1914 issue of the Pioneer and his affidavit stating he had learned the song in 1874, on top of the other affidavits, convinced the Goodwins' lawyer to pull the plug. The case did not get to court.
A researcher later found the copy of the Kirwin Chief, February 28, 1876, which copied the song from an 1874 issue. The song, with the by-line Dr. Higley, had an interesting preamble by the paper editor, which presaged the claims made by the Goodwins, Swartz and others.
"PLAGIARISM - The editor of the Stockton News has allowed himself to become the victim of an ambitious aspirant for political fame. In ...he publishes under the head of 'My Home In the West' a poem, purporting to have been written by Mrs. Emma Race, of Raceburgh, Kansas. The poem in question, with the exception of two words, was written by Dr. B. Higley of Beaver Creek..."
Following this admonition is the text that I posted March 30. Nowhere in the text is the phrase "Home on the Range;" it is given as "...my home here to range." The version on the Univ. Kansas website reproduces the words as "My home here on range."
In the 1876 printing, the Chorus is given as "A home! A home!" It is easy to see how the first verse became added to make a more satisfactory chorus.
The following verses appeared in 1909 in The American Folklorist 1909, in an article by J. F. Will; they are the "strangers" that I mentioned previously.

The prairie all checkered with buffalo paths,
Where once they roamed proudly to and fro;
But now they've grown dim where the hunters have been,
And the cowboys have laid they so low.

The red-men pressed in these parts of the west
And likely they never will return,
For the farmers they start in search of these parts
Whenever the story they learn.

This was the first appearance of the red-men verse in print.
Information from John I. White, "Get Along, Little Dogies." White was named in the suit brought by the Goodwins as a co-defendant. White interviewed Moenfeldt and heard the recording made of Harlan's song in 1936. Does the recording still exist?
Vernon Dalhart was the first to record the song commercially in 1927 on Brunswick.
The solo arrangement published with the statement "President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Favorite Song" was by D. W. Guion. This printing was made in 1932. Was it really Roosevelt's favorite song?
"The Border and the Buffalo," by John R. Cook, 1907, contained part of the song.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 12:19 PM

Buried in the last message above is an interesting question.

Does the recording of 1936 still exist somewhere?

It would be great if it could be recovered.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Dicho (Frank Staplin)
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 01:08 PM

Around 1900, the great ethnologist and photographer Curtis made thousands of wax recordings of Indian songs and chants. Most have been lost. The University of Indiana has 700 of them. I have never got a clear answer as to whether the texts were recorded before the recordings were destroyed. I presume that the Harlan recording was made with better equipment and materials. I think that a number of us would like to have a copy.


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Louie Roy
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 02:12 PM

Dicho,this is the first time that I disagree with your version,ut the verse about the RED MAN was written in 1873 in my book and goes like this

The Red Man was pressed,from this part of the west
He's likely no more to return Their flickering fires will burn


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Subject: RE: Seeking lyric to Home on the Range
From: Genie
Date: 31 Mar 02 - 11:53 PM

Dicho,
Thanks for the additional info. I, for one, would love a copy of the Harlan recording, if one can be found.

Also, you quoted the original verse as:
...
But now they've grown dim where the hunters have been,
And the cowboys have laid they so low.

Is that accurate--i.e, "they," not "them?"

Louie,
Note that the "red-man" verse I got from the Kansas State Song page (see link above) was:
"The red man was pressed from his home in the west,
And it's likely he'll no more return
To the banks of Red River, where seldom, if ever
His flickering campfires will burn."

This seems to be a composite, perhaps of your "red-man" verse and the 1873 Harlan verse:

Oh, give me the gale Of the Solomon vale,
Where the life stream of buoyancy flows
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom, if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

What do you folks think?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Jun 13 - 08:32 PM

An effort has been ongoing - seemingly for several decades(?) - to restore the cabin "where Home on the Range was written."

Typical of local news reports, the latest report amounts to little more than "a long way to write a headline," but for what it's worth:

Home on the Range' cabin restoration wrapping up

By AP
KSNW-TV 22 June 2013

ATHOL, Kansas (AP) — Restoration work is expected to wrap up soon on a 140-year-old north-central Kansas cabin where the state song, "Home on the Range," was written.

The Hays Daily News reports that with the exception of two end walls, the cabin's totally reconstructed. The stone wall on the north side was disassembled and rebuilt, using what good stones were left. The rest of the stones came from the area.

On the south side, the oak and walnut logs were removed, cleaned and then anchored to end walls using a series of nails and dowel rods. Crews also are rebuilding the roof. Landscaping and a nature trail also are planned.

The official dedication won't happen until October 2014.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: Ebbie
Date: 22 Jun 13 - 11:13 PM

From way back in '99, Joe Offered this last verse:

"Oh, I love those wild flowers in this dear land of ours,
The curlew I love to hear scream,
And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks
That graze on the mountain tops green."

Quite obviously this verse was added much later. The curlew does not bring Kansas to mind nor do antelope graze on the green mountain tops. (What mountains?)


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 01:58 AM

Sorry to contradict, but compare with Dicho's messages above, which quote the most original version of the song which has been preserved (from 1876, reprinted from 1874, and likely agreeing with the original printed in 1873 in nearby Smith County). The verse Joe quoted agrees in all salient respects except in placing the antelope on the top of the mountain rather than, say, on its slopes or skirt.

The common present-day summer range of the long-billed curlew includes the plains of eastern Colorado, branching across (north)western Nebraska. Considering how the natural habitats in Kansas and Nebraska have been disrupted by massive agriculture, it's not unlikely that Higley at that time could have seen curlews often on the Beaver Creek.

Given the almost unrelenting flatness of Kansas, Higley's definition of "home" was clearly more expansive, when it included bluffs and a mountain. He needn't have seen them close by or at first hand: we're talking a quarter century after the California gold rush and well into the cattle drive days, so even Tin Pan Alley hacks could have written such descriptions.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: open mike
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 12:38 PM

I recall hearing that the tune was based on an old Swedish folk tune..


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 12:57 PM

The best known "lump" in the Kansas landscape

The "Castle" on top of the lump

The rest of Kansas viewed from the top

(With a little exaggeration.)

John


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 01:42 PM

Four rivers in Kansas bear the name Beaver Creek.

One flows south along the western part of Smith County and empties into the Solomon River near Gaylord, Kansas.
The Solomon River, and one of the Beaver Creeks, rise near Mount Sunflower, western edge of the state, which is 4039 feet elevation.

The "bluffs and white rocks" may be poetic license; rocks rhyming with "flocks."
Are there white rocks exposed along any of the rivers?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 02:12 PM

The "white rocks" is a familiar and appropriate reference to much of Kansas due to areas sometimes loosely called the "chalk beds" and/or to the eastern "flint hills."

Early settlers found it easier to chop fenceposts out of the chalk/limestone than to find wood for them, and quite a few settlers' houses were made largely out of limestone blocks. A few "white rock" fenceposts are still visible in some places, although the "bob wire" that ties them together is quite probably newer than the original fences.

In Southeast Kansas there are areas with "rolling hills" that are barely noticeable in an automobile on a fairly decent road, but would have been a considerable stress on the horses/oxen pulling a wagon across the area. You have to do a significant "mind shift" to comprehend what it would have been like getting through them with older forms of transportation, but they weren't an insignificant difficulty for the early travelers.

John


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 04:08 PM

4000 feet of elevation (i.e. above sea level) probably describes half of Kansas. There's no dramatic rise in elevation before you hit Denver, the Mile-High City. Higley would have encountered more impressive and daunting geographic features crossing Illinois and Missouri on his move from Indiana to Kansas. Considering that, at the time, "The West" would have included most of what we now call the Midwest, it's not a stretch to think Higley's "mountain" and bluffs lay east of his new home proper, rather than west of it.

He needn't have travelled west by wagon, particularly when he wished to make an expeditious removal from his (4th?) wife. The Kansas Pacific Railway line had been built shortly before Higley's move west&mdah;the golden spike uniting the transcontinental railroad was hammered down in 1869—, and Hays, south of Beaver Creek, was already becoming a bustling settlement on the line. Higley could even have visited Denver by rail, catching a first-hand gander at real mountains (replete with antelope). Is it known how he relocated west?


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Subject: RE: Origin: Home on the Range
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Jun 13 - 06:42 PM

Low point in Kansas is 679 feet at the Verdigris River; mean elevation is 2000 feet.

Thanks, John, I had forgotten my geology; Kansas has many limestone beds at the surface.


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Subject: Folklore: Question, home on the range
From: kendall
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 10:28 AM

A few people have asked me where I got the last verse of Home on the range, and I don't know. Any suggestions?

" The red man was pressed from this part of the west,
it aint likely he'll ever return,
to the banks of Red River where, seldom, if ever, their flickering camp fires burn..."

I once saw a 250 pound country music star weep when I sang that verse.


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Subject: RE: Question, home on the range
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Feb 16 - 10:42 AM

John A. Lomax (1910), according to Wikipedia.


    Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
    Where the deer and the antelope play,
    Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
    And the skies are not cloudy all day.

       Chorus
       Home, home on the range,
       Where the deer and the antelope play;
       Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
       And the skies are not cloudy all day.

    Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
    The breezes so balmy and light,
    That I would not exchange my home on the range
    For all of the cities so bright.

       Chorus

    The red man was pressed from this part of the West
    He's likely no more to return,
    To the banks of Red River where seldom if ever
    Their flickering camp-fires burn.

       Chorus

    How often at night when the heavens are bright
    With the light from the glittering stars
    Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
    If their glory exceeds that of ours.

       Chorus

    Oh, I love these wild prairies where I roam
    The curlew I love to hear scream,
    And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks
    That graze on the mountain-tops green.

       Chorus

    Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
    Flows leisurely down the stream;
    Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
    Like a maid in a heavenly dream.

       Chorus


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