I’m Afraid To Go Home

Happy July 4th. We hope you have a great holiday. The cost of freedom is recorded not only in books and photographs, but in poetry and music. Here is a Civil War song by 60s singer, Brian Hyland, which he recorded in 1963. This song attempts to capture the feelings of a young Confederate soldier returning home. The South suffered three times the casualties of the North in the Civil War.

I’m afraid to go home, I’m afraid to go home
Worries on my mind, afraid of what I’ll find
Will my family be gone? I’m afraid to go home
Back to Tennessee, afraid of what I’ll see

As I walk down this dusty road, got a heart with a heavy load
Ain’t a thing that’s the same, so much sorrow and pain
Headin’ home in a single file, every inch is a quarter mile
Ain’t heard nobody sing, ain’t seen one livin’ thing

Someone’s waitin’ for me, honey sweet as can be
Wanna hold her tight; Lord, make her be all right
Maybe ’round the next bend, all the ashes will end
Valleys will be green instead of what I’ve seen

I’m afraid for the scrubby pine, all the sweet honeysuckle vine
I’m afraid for my home, for the fields that I roamed
Kick along down a homeward road, and your heart’s gotta take the load
I’m afraid to go home, I’m afraid to go home

Sherman’s been in my town, burned it all to the ground
Now there’s not a tree ‘tween Memphis and the Sea
Now there’s not a tree ‘tween Memphis and the Sea

(Written by Gary Geld and Peter Udell)

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