“Home on the Range”
“Home on the Range” is a classic western folk song, sometimes called the “unofficial anthem” of the American West. Dr. Brewster M. Higley of Smith County, Kansas wrote the lyrics to the poem, “My Western Home” in the early 1870’s. The poem was published in the December 1873 issue of the Smith County Pioneer under the title “My Western Home”. The music was later written by Daniel E. Kelley a carpenter and friend of Higley. Higley’s original words are similar to those of the modern version of the song, but not identical: the original did not contain the words “on the range”. The song was eventually adopted by ranchers, cowboys, and other western settlers and spread across the Unites States in various forms.
The most popular version of the song was the version sung by Bing Crosby in 1933. This turned a little-known saddle song into a most renowned western hymn. FDR acknowledged “Home on the Range” his favorite song.
I have attempted to utilize a few of my photographs to depict the first verse of this treasured song.