Home on the Range
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|"Home on the Range"|
|State song of Kansas|
|Music by||Daniel E. Kelley|
|Lyrics by||Brewster M. Higley|
"Home on the Range" is the state song of the American state of Kansas. Dr. Brewster M. Higley (1823–1911) originally wrote the words in a poem called "My Western Home" in the early 1870s in Smith County, Kansas.
History of the song
The poem was first published in a December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer under the title "Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam". The music was written by a friend of Higley, Daniel E. Kelley (1845–1905). Higley's original words are similar to those of the song today, but not identical. The song was adopted by settlers, cowboys, and others and spread across the United States in various forms. During the early 20th century, it was arranged by Texas composer David W. Guion (1892–1981), who is often credited as the composer. It was officially adopted as the state song of Kansas on June 30, 1947, and is commonly regarded as the unofficial anthem of the American West.
In contrast to the lyrics, no actual antelope species is native to the Americas; the pronghorn is often called an antelope, however.
"Home on the Range" is often performed in programs and concerts of American patriotic music, and is frequently used in plays and films. These include the 1948 film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (sung by both Cary Grant and Myrna Loy), the 1967 off-Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (sung by the cast as a glee club rehearsal number), the 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam (sung by Neil Young over the opening credits), the 2009 film The Messenger (sung by Willie Nelson over the closing credits), and in the 1946 western film Colorado Serenade (sung by actor Roscoe Ates). Frank Sinatra recorded the song on March 10, 1946 and it was released in Great Britain, although it wasn't available in the United States until 1993.
The song has naturally also made its way into screen shorts for children and adults, as in the 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon, Claws for Alarm, sung by Porky Pig. Likewise, Bugs Bunny sings the song in both The Fair-Haired Hare and Oily Hare, the latter containing original lyrics specific to Texas oilmen.
Kurt Vonnegut uses the tune of "Home on the Range" for the national anthem of San Lorenzo in his novel Cat's Cradle (1963).
"Home on the Range" has been featured as the state slogan on Kansas vanity license plates since 2005.
An arrangement of "Home on the Range" is played by the University of Kansas Marching Jayhawks at the end of all home football games in Memorial Stadium.
Windom Earle sings in Twin Peaks when he is abducting Major Briggs
Every January 29, the anniversary of Kansas' admission to the Union, the Kansas Senate and House of Representatives each sing the song a cappella.
Major versions compared
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (March 2011)|
|Dr. Brewster Higley (1876)||William and Mary Goodwin (1904)||John A. Lomax (1910)|
A recording of the song from Raiford Penitentiary, Florida, 1939.
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- Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle (Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1963)