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Home On The Range Song

February 3, 2012 by staff 

Home On The Range Song, “Home on the Range” is the state song of the American state of Kansas. Dr. Brewster M. Higley (1823-1911) originally wrote the words in a poem called “My Western Home” in the early 1870s in Smith County, Kansas. The poem was first published in a December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer under the title “Oh, Give Me a Home Where the Buffalo Roam”.

The music was written by a friend of Higley’s named Daniel E. Kelley. Higley’s original words are similar to those of the song today but not identical. The song was adopted by settlers, cowboys, and others and spread across the USA in various forms.

During the early 20th century, it was arranged by Texas composer David Guion (1892-1981) who is often credited as the composer. It was officially adopted as the state song of Kansas on June 30, 1947, and is commonly regarded as the unofficial anthem of the American West.

“Home on the Range” is often performed in programs and concerts of American patriotic music, and is frequently used in plays and films. These include the 1948 film Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (sung by both Cary Grant and Myrna Loy), the 1967 off-Broadway musical You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (sung by the cast as a glee club rehearsal number), the 1980 film Where the Buffalo Roam (sung by Neil Young over the opening credits), the 2009 film The Messenger (sung by Willie Nelson over the closing credits), and in the 1946 western film Colorado Serenade (sung by actor Roscoe Ates).

The song has naturally also made its way into screen shorts for children and adults, as in the 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon, Claws for Alarm, in which it is sung by Porky Pig.

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