Way over yonder is a place that I know
Where I can find shelter from the hunger and cold
And the sweet tasting good life is easily found.
Way over yonder, that’s where I’m bound, that’s where I’m bound….
— Carole King, “Way Over Yonder”
Happy first day of February! [Okay guys, you can stop laughing now—I scheduled this post for the 1st, thinking today was the 1st, so naturally when it wasn’t published today what did I do? Hit publish without thinking through all the implications. I’ll put it down to my trademark absent-mindedness.]
This week, the theme is “Songs About Home.” You’re getting a whopping SIX choice cuts today—practically an EP. The simple reason is I couldn’t bring myself to cut any of them. They’re mainly folksy and/or bluesy, some with a gospel twist. I chose Neil Finn’s “Song of the Lonely Mountain” (from The Hobbit soundtrack), Carole King’s gospel gem “Way Over Yonder,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s soulful classic “Long As I Can See the Light,” the Carolina Chocolate Drops’ “Leaving Eden” (they’re a new to me group, and they’re really, really good), Randall Goodgame’s “Heaven Waits,” and lastly my favorite, the Wailin’ Jennys’ “Glory Bound.” Actually, “Glory Bound” is fast becoming one of my favorite songs, period. The Wailin’ Jennys is another new group I just recently discovered. The song sounds like a Christian song, but I don’t know if the group members are Christians:
Some of these songs indicate a longing for paradise. Others are talking about an earthly home. Sometimes it’s hard to separate the two. For the dwarves in “Song of the Lonely Mountain,” it’s the lost homeland of Erebor that calls to them. For the traveler in “Long As I Can See the Light,” it’s the “candle in the window,” reminding him that the end of all his exploring shall be to arrive where he started. On the flip side, “Leaving Eden” and “Heaven Waits” use biblical symbolism to express the ache of having to leave a home you love in hard times.
Whether earthly or heavenly-minded, all of these lyrics reveal that a desire for home is woven deeply into the human spirit. All of us are responding to that tug in one way or another, even if not all of us realize where it’s ultimately coming from.
And all who find us will know the tune…