"Sometimes I Miss My Home"

music and verses 1 and 2 © 1970 Steve Hutchison;
verses 3 and 4 © 1981 Lee Ruth

MP3
Celebrated Renaissance Band

Dan Peek - Lead Vocal & Banjo
Jerome Wheeler - Guitar & Harmony Vocal
John Mathis - Harmonica
John Parrish - Dobro
Dr. Howard Marshall - Mandolin
Kevin Hennessey
- Bass
Rich Oberto - Drums

  MP3 Sample of Lee's Original

 

Song Lyrics:
Lee's Lyrics:
TOO BAD THE TIMES JUST DIDN'T SUIT MY MIND,

SORRY THE PLACE JUST DIDN'T RHYME.

TOO BAD THE TIMES HAVE PUSHED ME SO FAR NORTH.

YOU KNOW SOMETIMES I MISS MY HOME.

CHORUS: I DON'THINK IT'S WRONG, I JUST DON'T THINK IT'S WRONG, TO MISS MY HOME.

I WISH IT COULD BE THAT EVERYONE WERE FREE

FREE THE WAY I TRY TO BE.

DON'T GET ME WRONG I WON'T BE DOWN TOO LONG, I JUST DON'T THINK IT'S WRONG TO MISS MY HOME

CHORUS: (AS FIRST SUNG)

SO MUCH BEAUTY IN THE NORTHERN LIGHTS,

SO SHORT THE WINTER DAY, SO LONG THE WINTER NIGHTS. SO SWEET THE SUMMER WHEN THE WARM WINDS BLOW. STILL YOU KNOW I MISS MY HOME.

CHORUS: (AS FIRST SUNG)

I MISS MY HOME WHEN THE WILD GEESE FLY - SOUTH IN THE SPRINGTIME LIKE AN ARROW 'CROSS THE SKY

POINTING THE WAY THAT I'M NOT FREE TO ROAM. FLYING AWAY TOWARD MY HOME.

CHORUS: (AS FIRST SUNG)

Too bad the times just didn't suit my mind
Sorry the place just didn't rhyme
Too bad the times have pushed me so far north
You know sometimes I miss my home

Wish it could be that everyone were free
Free the way that I try to be
Please don't get me wrong, I'll not be down too long
I just don't think it's wrong to miss my home

So much beauty in the Northern Lights
So short the winter days, so long the nights
So sweet the summer when the warm winds blow
Still, you know I miss my home

I miss my home when the wild geese fly
South, in the springtime, like an arrow 'cross the sky
Pointing the way that I'm not free to roam
Flying away towards my home

(Verse 1)

Artist on the Song:
Lee on the Song:
We asked Lee what tune he thought we ought to do. He chose this one. I
think it's because we had known and made some music with Steve Hutchison, his co-author, who died in the 1980s.

My good friend the late Steve Hutchison wrote a shorter version of this song around 1970 or '71 as an expression of the feelings for his homeland that he imagined a political expatriate during that mid-Vietnam-War time might be experiencing. I never asked him whether he had a specific individual in mind or not--doesn't really matter now. On a number of occasions we played it together, but even though it was on my long list of songs to learn, I didn't do so. Not long after Steve died in 1981, I decided to start singing it and soon came to the conclusion that the song was too brief. So I wrote verses 3 and 4, to extend it in what I hoped was an appropriate way, and added the song to my repertoire.

When this tribute album project materialized in January of 2003, I saw an opportunity to present this co-written song to some appropriate musical artist, as a tribute-within-a-tribute to my long-gone friend. Around the same time two other long-time friends, Dan Peek and Jerome Wheeler started playing music together after a more than quarter-century hiatus, and as they were also good friends of Steve I offered them this song for the project. They accepted the offer and came up with the catchy chorus, which completes a 30+year odyssey in collaborative songwriting.

Artist on Lee Ruth:
Lee on the Artists:
It seems like I've always known Lee. Since I met him when I was 19, coming up to 40 years ago next fall, that perception is not all that far from being wrong. He and I are very different in the approach we have taken to life, and I love him for that. I think that Lee has found one of the secrets of successful art--the artist's acceptance of the terms and conditions of being an artist.

Lee is nowadays an official member of the Celebrated Renaissance Band (Reunion) and plays in the CRB Reunion regular Tuesday night gig at D'Agostino's in Columbia. He is prominently acknowledged on the CRB retrospective CD that was released on the Totem Pointe label in November 2003. I expect that he and I, and of course Jerome Wheeler and our band of friends, will continue to make music for as long as we can make music. And that's a long, long time. Dan

The Celebrated Renaissance Band

In September of 1964, having heard rumors of a new coffeehouse / folk music venue in Columbia, at first opportunity I wandered one evening into the Chez Chandelle at 100 Hitt Street. A tall slender fellow playing the banjo and a tall burly fellow playing the guitar were onstage, and they sounded good. After they finished their set, I introduced myself to them and found out they were called Dan Peek and Jerome Wheeler. Over the next few years, they continued to play together, and in 1968 with John Mathis on harmonica they put together The Celebrated Renaissance Band, playing a new genre of music they called "psychedelic old-time music." Their music was definitely good-time music and was much missed in Columbia when they broke up in 1970. Four years later, the group re-formed in Boston and performed there until 1976. Early in 2003, Dan and Jerome began playing together again and John Mathis flew in from California to rejoin his bandmates for the recording of "Sometimes I Miss My Home." Now it is December 2003, and I am pleased to note that Dan and Jerome are still playing music together, and even more pleased to be playing with them and another long-time friend, Danna Moore, as The Celebrated Renaissance Band Reunion.

Producer's Notes:
Recording Credits:

Dan Peek and Jerome Wheeler took the opportunity of a reunion of the Celebrated Renaissance Band to record "Sometimes I Miss My Home." Their college and friend John Mathis was in town from California to play harp on this song. John Parrish appeared and then disappeared, but he was in town long enough to play a sweet solid dobro part while Dr. Howard Marshall returned to his roots on a hot mandolin part that keeps breaking to the top like a sunfish chasing a surface lure. Rich Oberto and Kevin Hennessy were brought in as the A-team drums and bass for the session.

I'm sure glad we got C.R.B. recorded for this CD, since it had been decades since they last played together. You would never be able to tell that was the case from listening. It sounds more like they have been playing together all those years!

Recorded at Pete Szkolka's Studio

Record Date: 4/23/03

Mixed: 12/17/03

Mixed by Pete Szkolka and Steve Donofrio

 

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