Author: Compton, Cliff

Home on the Range
Bluegrass music is full of songs about home. Cabins in hollers is Tennessee. Mountain homes in Kentucky. Even city living.

?I?ve got a home
In Baltimore
Streetcar running
By my door?

I guess most of us wax nostalgic about our childhood homes, and the home songs seem to draw us into the world of the song writer.

?What have they done to the old home place
Why did they tear it down
Why did I leave my plow in the field
And look for a job in the town?

I moved around a lot in my life. Kansas City, San Antonio, Minnesota, Portland, Medford, Woodlake Ca., San francisco, on and on. So deciding where home is for me took some thinking.
I guess I?d have to figure it is Yakima Washington, because that seems to be where my songs mostly come from.

?oh take me oh take me
To the land of my birth
To the almost dry hills
And the alkaline earth
To the arms of my true love
I?m longing to go
To the Yakima valley
Where the read apples grow
(where the red apples grow c.c.)

We moved there when I was three and the world was new and I suppose much of what I am was formed there. In a little bitty house at 33 Watcom street.

Picking asparagus by the side of the road
Bring it home to mama
Momma cooks it on the stove
There in the house
At 33 Watcom street
(the house at 33 watcom street c.c.)

And later in life I moved back. And I met my wife, started a family. Because the roots of my raising run deep. And it seems like the apple orchards and hot summers are burned into every corner of my memory.

Up in the Northwestern town of Wenatchee
Need the shade of an old apple tree
I kissed her once I kissed her twice
that was the end of me

And she was red delicious
The apple of my eye
(red delicious c.c.)

And my wife an I worked in this place called ?White swan?. Always driving there in the night. Down quiet roads. In full moon stillness.

In the Yakima Valley
Where the red apples grow
Down a long narrow road
Outside Wapato
There?s a quiet open spot
On Indian land
In my memory tonight
I will be there again

White swan
White swan
(white swan c.c.)

I suppose we?ve all got our Yakima Valley. That place that formed us. That little spot that runs through our blood and colors our thoughts. And home never gets to far away, no matter where our rambling takes us. So sing them home songs. They say home is where the heart is. That?s why I like songs about the pacific North West. Probably why I like gospel music.

?This world is not my home
I?m only passing through?
(This world is not my home)

But if it was my home?. it might be in the Yakima valley.
Posted:  10/31/2008

Copyright © 2002 California Bluegrass Association. All rights reserved.
Comments? Questions? Please email