Home! Sweet Home!

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"Home, Sweet Home"
Home Sweet Home - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png
Cover of the sheet music for a version published in 1914.
Music byHenry Bishop
Lyrics byJohn Howard Payne
LanguageEnglish
 
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"Home, Sweet Home"
Home Sweet Home - Project Gutenberg eText 21566.png
Cover of the sheet music for a version published in 1914.
Music byHenry Bishop
Lyrics byJohn Howard Payne
LanguageEnglish
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Sheet music version.

"Home! Sweet Home!" (also known as "Home, Sweet Home") is a song that has remained well known for over 150 years. Adapted from American actor and dramatist John Howard Payne's 1823 opera Clari, or the Maid of Milan, the song's melody was composed by Englishman Sir Henry Bishop with lyrics by Payne. The words are as follows:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home;
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek thro' the world, is ne'er met elsewhere.
Home! Home!
Sweet, sweet home!
There's no place like home
There's no place like home!

As soon as 1827 this song was quoted by Swedish composer Franz Berwald in his Konzertstück for Bassoon and Orchestra (middle section, marked Andante). Gaetano Donizetti used the theme in his Opera Anna Bolena (1830) Act 2, Scene 3 as part of Anna’s Mad Scene to underscore her longing for her childhood home. It is also used with Sir Henry Wood's Fantasia on British Sea Songs and in Alexandre Guilmant's Fantasy for organ Op. 43, the Fantaisie sur deux mélodies anglaises, both of which also use "Rule, Britannia!". In 1857 composer/pianist Sigismond Thalberg wrote a series of variations for piano (op. 72) on the theme of Home! Sweet Home!.

In 1909, it was featured[citation needed] in the silent film The House of Cards, an Edison Studios film.[1] In the particular scene, a frontier bar was hurriedly closed due to a fracas. A card reading "Play Home Sweet Home" was displayed, upon which an on-screen fiddler promptly supplied a pantomime of the song. This may imply a popular association of this song with the closing hour of drinking establishments.[citation needed]

The song was reputedly banned from being played in Union Army camps during the American Civil War for being too redolent of hearth and home and so likely to incite desertion.[2]

The song is famous in Japan as "Hanyū no Yado" ("埴生の宿"?) ("My Humble Cottage"). It has been used in such movies as The Burmese Harp[3] and Grave of the Fireflies. It is also used at Senri-Chūō Station on the Kita-Osaka Kyūkō Railway.

Popular culture[edit]

Key phrases from the song have been a cultural staple for several generations.

References[edit]

External links[edit]