This song is homey, contented, and personal. But it is also almost epic, both in scope and in length (7 minutes! Jeez!). It moves through time, beginning with the birth of a nation, moving into the present, and occasionally flashing back to prehistoric epochs of significant geological events. It moves through space, traversing from the East Coast to The Heartland to the Old World to the West Coast and, finally, back to The Midwest. Whew!
I wrote the words for this song in about 45 minutes while proctoring a class of undergraduate students at Indiana State University. I was a Graduate Assistant in the Radio-TV-Film Department. My primary duty as a Grad Ass was to manage and program the university radio station, WISU-FM. But occasionally, a professor would ask me to proctor his or her class, usually administering a written exam in his or her absence. Well, as soon as I had passed out the test pages at this particular time, I felt a burst of inspiration. I began writing (and writing and writing and....). I was so absorbed that I would have been oblivious to even the most blatant forms of cheating, had any occurred ("Say it ain't so, Joe!").
The first few lines of the song were inspired by my Dad having shown me an encyclopedia entry in which a Lister was listed among the passengers of the Mayflower and the signers of the Mayflower Compact.
I wrote "Homespun Song" for my friends Brother Gene and Sister Deb, for my wife Ruth (during the 6th year of what turned out to be a 21-year marriage), and for myself. Now I'm pleased to share it with you, m'Dear Pilgrim.
Read the lyrics below, skip to the Lead Sheet for the words and music, or listen to the homemade MP3 song demo. — BD