Home on the Range

(1873)

"Home on the Range," the state song of Kansas since 1947, was composed by violinist Daniel Kelley with text by otolaryngologist Dr. Brewster Higley.

The words "Home on the Range" never appear in Higley's original text. He titled the work "My Western Home," though it often was titled by its first line as well. The poem was published in the Kansas newspaper Kirwin Chief in 1876. However, within a few years of publication, "Home on the Range" gained immense popularity throughout the United States and both composer and writer became practically anonymous as settlers claimed the song as their own.

--Christie Finn

My Western Home
by Dr. Brewster Higley


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 cloudy all day.


Chorus:
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 a land where the bright diamond sand
Throws its light from the glittering streams,
Where glideth along the graceful white swan,
Like the maid in her heavenly dreams.


Chorus


Oh! give me a gale of the Solomon vale,
Where the life streams with buoyancy flow;
On the banks of the Beaver, where seldom if ever,
Any poisonous herbage doth grow.


Chorus


How often at night, when the heavens were bright,
With the light of the twinkling stars
Have I stood here amazed, and asked as I gazed,
If their glory exceed that of ours.


Chorus


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


Chorus


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


Chorus


1904 Version of the text
by William and Mary Goodwin:


Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
There seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.


Chorus:
A home, a home
Where the deer and the antelope play,
There seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the sky is not cloudy all day.


Yes, give me the gleam of the swift mountain stream
And the place where no hurricane blows;
Oh, give me the park where the prairie dogs bark
And the mountain all covered with snow.


Chorus


Oh, give me the hills and the ring of the drills
And the rich silver ore in the ground;
Yes, give me the gulch where the miner can sluice
And the bright, yellow gold can be found.


Chorus


Oh, give me the mine where the prospectors find
The gold in its own native land;
And the hot springs below where the sick people go
And camp on the banks of the Grande.


Chorus


Oh, give me the steed and the gun that I need
To shoot game for my own cabin home;
Then give me the camp where the fire is the lamp
And the wild Rocky Mountains to roam.


Chorus


Yes, give me the home where the prospectors roam
Their business is always alive
In these wild western hills midst the ring of the drills
Oh, there let me live till I die.


Chorus


1910 Version of the Text
by John A. Lomax


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 skies are not cloudy all day.


Chorus:
Home, home on the range,
Where the deer and the antelope play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day.


Where the air is so pure, the zephyrs so free,
The breezes so balmy and light,
That I would not exchange my home on the range
For all of the cities so bright.


Chorus


The red man was pressed from this part of the West
He's likely no more to return,
To the banks of Red River where seldom if ever
Their flickering camp-fires burn.


Chorus


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


Chorus


Oh, I love these wild prairies where I roam
The curlew I love to hear scream,
And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks
That graze on the mountain-tops green.


Chorus


Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down the stream;
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream.


Chorus


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