Home -  (2022)   

Edward Thomas

for tenor and piano


Often I had gone this way before:
But now it seemed I never could be
And never had been anywhere else;
'Twas home; one nationality
We had, I and the birds that sang,
One memory.

They welcomed me. I had come back
That eve somehow from somewhere far:
The April mist, the chill, the calm,
Meant the same thing familiar
And pleasant to us, and strange too,
Yet with no bar.

The thrush on the oaktop in the lane
Sang his last song, or last but one;
And as he ended, on the elm
Another had but just begun
His last; they knew no more than I
The day was done.

Then past his dark white cottage front
A labourer went along, his tread
Slow, half with weariness, half with ease;
And, through the silence, from his shed
The sound of sawing rounded all
That silence said.

4 pages, circa 4' 350


"Home" by Edward Thomas (1878–1917) is sometimes known by its first line, “Often I had gone this way before”



The darker chord succession beginning in an altered F sharp minor color with a bittersweet tint the notion of being home, the little things being of such and growing import as the poet observes. Silence and memory are spoken -- sung -- with long lyric lines to capture this lyrical poetic sense. The darker complexities yield in the resolution of the verses to cadences, first in C sharp major and finally in E major with the lingering non-harmonic tones sustained into the final chord.



The score is available as a free PDF download, though any major commercial performance or recording of the work is prohibited without prior arrangement with the composer. Click on the graphic below for this art song score.