I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen

DESCRIPTION: The singer promises to take Kathleen home across the ocean. He says that -- even though she has lost her looks and her voice is sad -- he still loves her as she loves him. Once home (in Ireland?), they will visit their old haunts
AUTHOR: Thomas P. Westendorf (1848?-1923)
EARLIEST DATE: 1876 (sheet music published by John Church & Co. of Cincinnati)
KEYWORDS: home love travel
REFERENCES (6 citations):
Jackson-PopularSongsOfNineteenthCenturyAmerica, pp. 83-86, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Dean-FlyingCloud, p. 107, "I Will Take You Back Again, Kathleen" (1 text)
Geller-FamousSongsAndTheirStories, pp. 5-10, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber/Silber-FolksingersWordbook, p. 259, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (1 text)
Fuld-BookOfWorldFamousMusic, p. 296, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen"

ST RJ19083 (Full)
Roud #12907
Kaplan's Melodists w. Vernon Dalhart, voc. "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (Edison 51666, 1925)
Bradley Kincaid, "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" (Bluebird 5569, 1934)
Shannon Quartet, "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" (OKeh 40302, 1925)
Zack [Hurt] & Glenn [?], "I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen" (OKeh 45240, 1928)

NOTES [142 words]: This song has produced a its own folklore (that it's traditional, that it was written in 1900, that the author's wife was named/nicknamed/renamed Kathleen, that it has something to do with Ireland, etc.). The facts, which rarely resemble the folklore, have been gathered in Richard S. Hill's article "Getting Kathleen Home Again" in the June 1948 issue of Notes, the journal of the Music Library Association.
Spaeth (History of American Popular Music) and Jon W. Finson, The Voices That Are Gone: Themes in Nineteenth-Century American Popular Song, Oxford University Press, 1994, pp. 288-289, summarize the facts as follows: Westerndorf's wife was named Jennie, not Kathleen; he was a Virginian then living in Indiana; and the song was supposedly inspired by something called "Barney, Take Me Home Again" by Westendorf's friend George W. Persley - RBW
Last updated in version 4.1
File: RJ19083

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