' I've lost the power I had to distinguish between what to ignite and what to extinguish' – Rowland S. Howard

Category: John Martyn

‘Home Before Dark’: A Theme Time 15 Minutes – Part Two

Should add that I named the original post after one of my favourite books of all time, Susan Cheever’s great memoir about her father, John Cheever. In my opinion, Cheever is, perhaps – along with Raymond Carver and Richard Ford – the best American short story writer.

Have been thinking about songs with ‘Home’ in the title or as a theme and have come up with these additions to the list:

1. Rory Gallagher ‘Philby’ – Rory’s great song about not having a home:

2. Robert Johnson, ‘Sweet Home Chicago’:

3. These are, I think, alternative versions of the same original song (the ‘folk process’, as it were), but they show clearly the differences between these two fine artists:
Paul Clayton, ‘Home, Dearie, Home’:

There is a sample of this song here:

Luke Kelly, ‘Home, Boys, Home’:

4. John Martyn, ‘Baby Please Come Home; – from his greatest album…

5. Mary Gauthier, ‘Can’t Find the Way’ – a great, great song about homelessness:

6. Eric Andersen, ‘Feel like Coming Home”
There is a sample of this song here (it is track 12):

7. Bert Jansch, Running from Home’:

8. Bob Dylan.’I was young when I left Home’: Dylan’s great re-working of ’99 Miles”

9. Eric Bibb, ‘New Home’:

Robbie Murphy, John Martyn, One World, Kevin Hewick

A few tracks from Robbie Murphy, who passed away recently:


I knew Robbie (or ‘Robert’ as I knew him_ in Ireland in the 1970s/80s and although we drifted out of contact over the years, I have very fond memories of him from that time.

I have particularly fond memories of a few days that Robert stayed with me in the West of Ireland in the mid-80s. He had been busking his way around the country and had eventually got passed the Shannon. We had several late night drinking sessions, after which we went back to where I was staying and had long conversations (as was Robert’s wont) about life, the universe and everything. What stood out for me at that time was Robert’s warmth, empathy and wit…

We were both big fans of John Martyn’s music at the time and I remember Robbie’s favourite song of his being “One World’. Every time I hear it from now on, it will bring back memories of his gentle, generous and idealistic spirit…

Would also add that, apart from his own music, Robert (as I knew him) also produced a number of albums by local musicians in Leicester – most notably, perhaps, Kevin Hewick’s fine album, Doomcloud, which can be downloaded from here: