In the Spring of 2001 I received a commission from the Dale Warland Singers to write a short "folk" type choral arrangement. I had discovered a tune in a folk song book called "The Lone Wild Bird." I fell in love with it, made a short recording and asked my good friend and colleague, Michael Dennis Browne to write new words for this tune. The tune is taken from The Southern Harmony Songbook" of 1835. It is pentatonic and that is part of its attraction. Pentatonic scales have been extant for centuries and are prevalent in almost all musical cultures throughout the world. They are universal. Michael crafted three verses and gave it the title "The Road Home." He writes so eloquently about "returning" and "coming home" after being lost or wandering. Again, this is another universal theme and it has resonated well with choirs around the world as this simple little a cappella choral piece has become another "best seller" in our Paulus Publications catalogue and now threatens to catch up with "Pilgrims’ Hymn." It is just more evidence that often the most powerful and beautiful message is often a simple one.
I particularly like this performance by Conspirare with its wonderful solo by Melissa Givens. I’ve put the lyrics below the video. Enjoy :-).
Video Source: The Road Home – Stephen Paulus – Conspirare – YouTube. Uploaded on Oct 1, 2011 by AntPDC.
Text: The Road Home
Tell me where is the road I can call my own,
That I left, that I lost, so long ago.
All these years I have wondered, oh when will I know,
There’s a way, there’s a road that will lead me home.
After wind, After rain, when the dark is done,
As I wake from a dream, in the gold of day,
Through the air there’s a calling from far away,
There’s a voice I can hear that will lead me home.
Rise up, follow me, come away is the call
With (the) love in your heart as the only song
There is no such beauty as where you belong
Rise up, follow me, I will lead you home.