Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Do you know all the words to "Home on the Range"?

Happy Kansas Day Week!

In 1947 the state legislature adopted "Home on the Range" as our state song. The words were written by Brewster Higley in his cabin in 1871 or 1872 and the music was composed by Dan Kelly, who lived in southern Smith County for awhile.

If you are looking for a perfect way to commemorate Kansas Day you might travel to Smith County to Mr. Higley's cabin on Beaver Creek. The cabin is located on private property but we all have permission to walk around the (deteriorating) cabin and read the words to the song on the side of the building. Hopefully you can pick up a brochure which tells the whole fascinating story about how the song came to be.
The cabin is located 8 miles north of Athol on K-8, then 1 mile west. Follow the mile-long, narrow driveway to the 1872 cabin and former home of Brewster Higley.

When you stand by his cabin you'll understand why he wrote the words.

He didn't know he was writing words to "Home on the Range" but rather a poem called "My 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 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 the gale of the Solomon vale,
Where life streams with buoyancy flow,
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.

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

I love the wild flowers in this bright land of ours;
I love too the wild curley's scream,
The bluffs and white rocks and antelope flocks
That graze on the hillsides so green.

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

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

To stand here and softly sing the song to yourself is to "Get Kansas."

KE #2 Marci Penner


Thyme2dream said...

Its been a long time since Ive read all the words- fun to see them again, thanks for posting!!:)

Anonymous said...

I had no idea there were so many verses and I have been a Kansan for 57 years. I sure enjoyed this poem. Thanks