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Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel

homeward bound song meaning


  • Paul Simon lived in Brentwood, Essex, England when he wrote this song. When traveling back from Wigan, where he was playing, he got stuck at the train station and wrote this. The song has a double meaning: literally, wanting for a ticket home to Brentwood, but on the other hand, yearning to go to his home in the US. >> Suggestion credit : Paul - London, England
  • Simon talked about this song in a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine: "That was written in Liverpool when I was traveling. What I like about that is that it has a very clear memory of Liverpool station and the streets of Liverpool and the club I played at and me at age 22. It's like a snapshot, a photograph of a long time ago. I like that about it but I don't like the song that much. First of all, it's not an original title. That's one of the main problems with it. It's been around forever. No, the early songs I can't say I really like them. But there's something naive and sweet-natured and I must say I like that about it. They're not angry. And that means that I wasn't angry or unhappy. And that's my memory of that time: it was just about idyllic. It was just the best time of my life, I think, up until recently, these last five years or so, six years... This has been the best time of my life. But before that, I would say that that was."
  • This was just the second Simon & Garfunkel single, following up " The Sound Of Silence ," which became a surprise hit when their record company added instrumentation and released it a year after it was first recorded. The duo had parted ways, but got back together in a hurry when "Sound" hit #1 in America.
  • Along with " I Am A Rock ," this was recorded at a late-night session in New York City with producer Bob Johnston. Simon played acoustic guitar, and Ralph Casale was on electric. Johnston was working on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 album around this time, and Casale recalls that drummer Bobby Gregg and organist Al Kooper - both Dylan regulars - played on this Simon & Garfunkel session as well.
  • George Harrison played this and " Here Comes The Sun " with Paul Simon in 1975 on Saturday Night Live . >> Suggestion credit : Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Paul Simon performed this song with Billy Joel at Joel's concert on August 4, 2015 at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. This was the last concert at the venerable arena, and Simon was a surprise guest. It marked the first time Joel and Simon ever sang together.
  • Peter Carlin called his 2016 novel about Paul Simon Homeward Bound . "Given the immigrant story beneath Paul's life and work (what are his many musical re-creations if not the assimilation process writ in music over and over again) 'Homeward Bound' worked too well to ignore," he explained.
  • More songs from Simon & Garfunkel
  • More songs about traveling
  • More songs performed on Saturday Night Live
  • More songs covered by the Glee cast
  • More songs from 1966
  • Lyrics to Homeward Bound
  • Simon & Garfunkel Artistfacts

Comments: 20

  • Rick B from Newark, De Homeward Bound was first released by Chad and Jeremy in 1965.
  • Jennifur Sun Mike from El Paso very true. Lost both of mine and two older brothers.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, Ny On February 6th 1966, "Homeward Bound" by Simon and Garfunkel entered Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart at position #84; and six weeks later on March 20th, 1966 it peaked at #5 {for 2 weeks} and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100... The week it entered the Top 100 the duo's debut record, "The Sounds of Silence", was still on the chart at position #25; it had peaked at #1 {for 2 non-consecutive* weeks} on December 26th, 1965... * The Beatles' "We Can Work It Out" was at #1 between its two weeks at #1.
  • Eddy Jacobsen from London Hi there folks... I am puzzled about the discrepancy of the name of that railway station. I saw a plate on the wall of a rail station in Runcorn where it said Paul Simon wrote his song Homeward Bound.
  • Ted from Phoenix, Az "Homeward Bound," was the second charting single by Simon & Garfunkel in the U.S. and "I Am a Rock," was the third. However, "I Am a Rock," was on the Sounds of Silence album (see my previous comment) while "Homeward Bound," would not show up on an album until Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was released in the summer of 1966.
  • Ted from Phoenix, Az Actually The Sounds of Silence was released as an album in early 1966 after the success of the title track. And, like the title track, the album consisted (mostly) of recordings first issued on the Wednesday Morning 3 AM album that had electric guitars overdubbed onto them.
  • Josh from Westborough, Ma sound of silence wasn't even an album
  • Mike from El Paso, Tx, Tx This song will always be special to me. It was popular in February of 1966, when I was driving back and forth from Austin where I was in my second year of law school, to Houston, where my mother was dying of cancer. I always heard it on the radio at least twice going and twice returning. It expressed my wistful mood, thinking about the home that would never be there for me again. You always get over loss of parents, but not completely. Mike Milligan, El Paso
  • Jay from Jackson, Mi Great song as are many from this duo but your header info is incorrect. This song is from their Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album NOT Sounds of Silence!
  • Janet from Cleveland, Oh When we saw Chad and Jeremy a couple of weeks ago (in Kent, OH, USA) Jeremy told a story about meeting this really talented American songwriter who hung around while they were recording what turned out to be their last album. He gave them a song for the album, but they chose a different song of their own as a single. Jeremy said "When you hear this song, you'll know who the songwriter was. Just remember we had it first (even if we didn't release it)." They then broke into "Homeward Bound".
  • Bill from Liverpool, England Right the story told is that Paul Simon wrote this song on the platform of the British Rail Station in Widnes (N.W. England). The station has placed a number of placques to that effect on the station (they keep getting stolen). Like most songs, it was written over a period of weeks, but part of that time was at the home of the Folk Club organiser who had booked Paul Simon for his club (He later presented a Folk Programme on Radio Merseyside. I believe his name was Geoff Speed)locally and who had offered Paul a spare room in which to sleep overnight. This is a common occurence when the booking fee would not cover the overnight stay in a hotel.
  • Andrew from Birmingham, United States I can relate to this song whenever I'm homesick. About the same I can relate to the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B". Seems that at least two groups needed to sing about being homesick. Heck, that's life. Things will cause us to feel "out of place" and wish we were back home. In fact, we really are "out of place" for as long as we are on this earth. If you are in God's divine family, You should be glad that earth isn't our home.
  • Miles from Vancouver, Canada Probably my favorite song by S&G...ok, The Only Living Boy in New York is a contender.
  • Ed from L´don, England Hi folk, Lets get this right; during the course of my bicycle trip from Glasgow to Brighton, Sussex, I accidentally came across a sing on the Runcorn train station, and there was the sign saying that Paul Simon wrote his song: Homeward Bound, and it was verified by a taxi driver that I spoke to later.
  • Anonymous Paul of Salford, got it wrong man. And right. Paul Simon did live in Brentwood and played a few gigs there. No one's saying PS didn't write the song at Widnes. Chill man!
  • Ken from Louisville, Ky Paul Simon sang this on "Saturday Night Live" in 1976 with George Harrison. They alternated singing the verses but sang harmony on the chorus. In the same set, the performed "Here Comes The Sun" the same way.
  • Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Fl simon also didn't write this after he was running after a train because he was late.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, Mn I remember a cover version by Petula Clark.
  • Eric from Teaneck, Nj Simon and Garfunkel (and then Simon alone) used to open all their concerts with "Homeward Bound" -- except for the ones in their hometown of New York. Those always opened with "Mrs. Robinson."
  • Paul from Salford, England Paul has got it wrong - Paul Simon wrote this on Widnes railway station.

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homeward bound song meaning

Marta Keen: Homeward Bound

homeward bound song meaning

Written by Jonathan Estabrooks

In category: song of the day, published january 25, 2017.

There is something truly magical about this song. I first discovered it as a young boy soprano, growing up in Ottawa, Canada. Known to me only as a choral work, I was surprised to see a recent revival by a number of solo artists and YouTubers. The text became even more poignant and personal for me while working abroad and chasing a new adventure, yet missing home.

In her own words, Ms. Keen describes the intentions behind this hauntingly beautiful work: “Finding your true calling in life; knowing that those who love you trust that you will return… I wrote this song for a loved one who was embarking upon a new phase of life’s journey, to express the soul’s yearning to grow and change. It was premiered by a Seattle Irish tenor, but soon after was beautifully arranged by Jay Althouse and published by Alfred Music. It has been performed by choirs of all ages throughout the English speaking world and many Asian countries.”

I hope you enjoy my interpretation and images from Airlie Beach, Australia and the Fiordlands in New Zealand, with cliffs that seem to fall into the ocean. It was a magnificent sight to see.

homeward bound song meaning

Hello mate this is genuinely incredible x


This is a very special song and I really loved this arrangement of it. I only recently discovered this song but as I am currently on a journey of groth and development it really spoke to me.

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Homeward Bound: Three Beautiful Interpretations of Marta Keen Thompson’s Music

This past Sunday afternoon I came across a piece of music that moved me to tears.  I don’t get emotional often, so I was struck by the overwhelming power this song has, which I believe is the result of an exquisitely crafted resonance of lyric, melody, arrangement, and vocal talent combined in perfect harmony.  It’s one of those songs that seems to reach down into the deepest parts of my experience and speak to me on a level usually untapped.  I immediately took a closer look at the song, trying to unpack its meaning, and why it moves me so.  I hope to share some of the beauty that I found.

The song’s title is “Homeward Bound.”


  1. Willie Nelson song: Homeward Bound, lyrics

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    homeward bound song meaning

  4. Homeward Bound By Marta Keen

    homeward bound song meaning

  5. Homeward Bound (arr. Roger Emerson) Sheet Music

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  6. Homeward Bound" Sheet Music by Simon & Garfunkel for Guitar Tab/Vocal

    homeward bound song meaning



  2. Homeward Bound

  3. Homeward Bound

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  6. Homeward Bound 10 29 22


  1. Homeward Bound: Interpretations of Marta Keen Thompson’s

    The song’s title is “Homeward Bound.” No, not that one, by Simon & Garfunkel. While a good song, it’s not that kind of song. Rather, the song I heard is by the composer Marta Keen Thompson, who currently lives in Las Vegas. She wrote the lyrics and music to this song, and this seems to be her most well-known composition.

  2. Homeward Bound by Simon & Garfunkel

    by Simon & Garfunkel Album: Sounds Of Silence ( 1966) Charted: 9 5 License This Song lyrics artistfacts Songfacts®: Paul Simon lived in Brentwood, Essex, England when he wrote this song. When traveling back from Wigan, where he was playing, he got stuck at the train station and wrote this.

  3. Marta Keen: Homeward Bound

    In her own words, Ms. Keen describes the intentions behind this hauntingly beautiful work: “Finding your true calling in life; knowing that those who love you trust that you will return… I wrote this song for a loved one who was embarking upon a new phase of life’s journey, to express the soul’s yearning to grow and change.

  4. Homeward Bound (1917 song)

    Homeward Bound is a World War I era song that says the war will soon be over, and the soldiers will be able to return home. It has a hopeful message and was meant to comfort both soldiers and the family and friends of soldiers. It was composed by George W. Meyer, written by Howard Johnson and Coleman Goetz, and produced by Leo. Feist, Inc. in 1917.

  5. Homeward Bound: Three Beautiful Interpretations ...

    Homeward Bound: Three Beautiful Interpretations of Marta Keen Thompson’s Music. This past Sunday afternoon I came across a piece of music that moved me to tears. I don’t get emotional often, so I was struck by the overwhelming power this song has, which I believe is the result of an exquisitely crafted resonance of lyric, melody ...