“Goin' Home”

Glenn Watkins

in Proof through the Night

Published by University of California Press

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780520231580
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520927896 | DOI:
“Goin' Home”

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Despite the widespread social disorder that followed the Great War, many of the aesthetic debates of the preceding years were now soberly revived and reviewed. Whatever urgency was apparent in such deliberations seemed to center on the possibility of societal renewal through the arts. England's relation to the avant-garde in the post-war period—particularly with respect to music—was an issue of special concern. The celebrations notwithstanding, it was the private ceremonies of homecoming for ordinary soldiers that proved to be the most emotional in the lives of countless families. Tellingly, in 1922 the lyrics of “Goin' Home” were added by William Arms Fisher to the most memorable melody from Antonin Dvorák's “New World” Symphony of 1893. Remembrance and commemoration found expression in ways ranging from the official, the patriotic, and the religious, to the informally ribald, affectionate, and sentimental. Heitor Villa-Lobos recapitulated the progression from war to victory to peace in a triptych of symphonies. Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle, now home, also offered timely songs of romance and reunion.

Keywords: Great War; music; England; homecoming; soldiers; Goin' Home; Antonin Dvorák; remembrance; commemoration; reunion

Chapter.  5804 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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