Post no. 200, in which I go to my old Kentucky home which isn’t home but is in some ways I guess I don’t really know anymore

It feels like I should write something profound just because this is apparently the 200th thing I’ve posted here. But I’m not going to. I’m just going to mention that I’m going to go see some great friends in Kentucky over the Labor Day weekend. Kentucky was where I went to college, where I met my former partner, where I grew close to one of my best friends, where I met my conducting teacher, and where I started saying “y’all” all the time. No small part of me still feels an attachment to the state – I went to college right as my family (minus my dad) moved to the Northwest and have been something of a nomad since – and there’s a certain kind of nostalgia I get when I go back. This time, it’s mixed with sadness at who I’m not going with, but I’m excited to get back to a place that feels more like home than home, if only for a weekend.

This is a perfect opportunity to post this fucking gorgeous performance of the Robert Shaw Chorale singing “My Old Kentucky Home.” Please note: they use the term “darkies” as Stephen Foster wrote. It’s racist. I get it. Sadly, it wasn’t that big a deal when it was written, and more sadly it probably wasn’t that big a deal when they recorded it. Just remember that the music is beautifully-crafted perfection and MOST of the lyrics are just as beautiful (Shaw’s performance does not include the third verse, but it’s worth the read).

The sun shines bright on my old Kentucky home
Tis summer, the darkies are gay
The corn top’s ripe and the meadow’s in bloom
While the birds make music all the day
The young folks roll on the little cabin floor
All merry, all happy and bright
By ‘n by hard times come a-knocking at the door
Then my old Kentucky home good night

Weep no more, my lady
Oh, weep no more, today
We will sing one song for the old Kentucky home
For the old Kentucky home far away.

They hunt no more for the ‘possum and the coon,
On meadow, the hill and the shore,
They  sing  no more by the glimmer of the moon,
On the  bench  by that  old  cabin  door.
The day goes by like a  shadow  o’er  the heart,
With sorrow where all was delight.
The time has come  when the darkies have to part,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night.

The head must bow and the back will have to bend,
Wherever the poor folks may go
A few more days and the trouble will end,
In the field where sugar-canes may grow.
A few more days for to tote the weary load,
No matter, ’twill never be light
A few more days till we totter on the road,
Then my old Kentucky home, good night.


2 thoughts on “Post no. 200, in which I go to my old Kentucky home which isn’t home but is in some ways I guess I don’t really know anymore

  1. Makes me sooooo nostalgic. Thanks For the post. Also…. Bangkok House. Have a second Par Thai for me.

  2. Enjoy your trip back to the Bluegrass State. Thanks for the music, it’s a great way to start the weekend!

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