Going Home

Here is an entry from a fellow blogger. I am thankful she acceded to my request of re-posting her music story here. Somehow, I got to feel the emotion surrounding her story but I wouldn't claim to fully understand it because as we all know, one will never know the feeling until you are actually in it. That's one thing I learned, and I upheld from one of my pre-Law courses.

You might also want to visit her music blog site. It's really nice, I get to learn a lot of classical music and songs, one can truly appreciate!

Here is the link and the full story below:


My mother liked classical music in a basic sense, but her taste ran more toward popular music. My love for classical music and opera (adored by her father) was not passed from my mom to me, was developed on my own. It was interesting to share that appreciation with her after she retired and moved to Oregon. I got her to some symphonies but never an opera. In the final weeks of her life I played classical music (and easy listening instrumentals) that I found soothing and assumed that she did also. But it wasn't until one day I put an old Marty Robbins record on the stereo in her family room that I returned to her bedroom to see her face changed to a happy dreaminess. "Love it, love it, love it," she said emphatically.

It is precisely because her interest in classical music took a backseat to other musical forms that I can easily recall her favorite selections. She told me when I was a child that her mother loved "Going Home" and would hum it around the house when she was a girl, which she in turn did for me. She said it was composed by Dvorak, and I remember being somewhat confused that there were words to a classical piece. (See below that the tune was likely a spiritual that Dvorak liked and adapted for the symphony*) It was years later that I listened to the entire symphony with its wordless 2nd movement, but of course whenever I hear it I think of that part as one of the songs my mother taught me.

She died in 2000 on this day and we had her memorial service a few weeks later. Going Home was not among songs on tape that were played over the speakers in the funeral home, although as I read information for this post I realized it is a favorite at funerals.

Less than a year after her death, September 11 happened and I was so grateful that my mother with the "Pollyanna" outlook on life did not have to endure the shock that the rest of us lived through together. Only a few days later, The Oregon Symphony was scheduled to perform at The Oregon Garden here in Silverton, a final toast to summer and the ending of the 2001 outdoor concert series. Michael and I had tickets and we went to the concert with some trepidation (remember those early days after 9-11 when we were unsure of the safety of being in large gatherings?).

The setting for the outdoor concerts there is so lovely. Concert-goers sit (in low lawn chairs only) in a grassy bowl facing where the setting sun is seen through an oak grove behind the stage.

We were advised at the outset of the concert that we could not depend on the program that had been printed prior to 9-11. The conductor was changing some music commensurate with that moment in time. I remember only the final piece -- Dvorak's 9th Symphony, 2nd Movement: Going Home. Michael and I held hands, and as we did I felt so close to my mother. I sat there in awe of the punch of color tracing the coast range in the distance. Did I cry? I do not remember. Many did. The many, who shared the surreal beauty of the song being offered up to the old oaks and the sunset and the ether. It was all we had to give. And such tenderness to take.

The YOUTUBE link is here.

Information on this video at youtube: "Fantastic perfomance by the Norwegian star Sissel. Singing this wonderful tune of Dvorak. This is Largo from Symphony Of A New World."

Going Home - lyrics (Words by William Arms Fisher)

Going home, going home
I'm just going home
Quiet light, some still day
I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
Work all done, care laid by
Going to fear no more
Mother's there expecting me
Father's waiting, too
Lots of folk gathered there
All the friends I knew
All the friends I knew
I'm going home
Nothing's lost, all's gain
No more fret nor pain
No more stumbling on the way
No more longing for the day
Going to roam no more
Morning star lights the way
Restless dream all done
Shadows gone, break of day
Real life begun
There's no break, there's no end
Just a living on
Wide awake with a smile
Going on and on
Going home, going home
I'm just going home
It's not far, just close by
Through an open door
I am going home
I'm just going home
Going home, going home

Thank you for passing by!

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