Going Home



Returning home after being away is always thought provoking. For me anyway. My husband and I have just returned to our home in Uruguay after a cruise on the Alaska Inside Passage and a visit with our son in Arizona. Following our arrival in Uruguay, I expressed feeling grateful to be blessed with a comfortable home and loving animals waiting to welcome us. Over the years, when I’ve returned home to various places around the globe, I’ve scribbled notes in my journal of my diverse thoughts about going home. Each time I’m aware that I see ‘home’ in a different light.

When I lived in Germany on my own in the late 70s, I discovered Dory Previn’s music and rediscovered myself after a painful divorce. One of my favorite songs was from her album “Mythical Kings and Iguanas (Going Home is such a Ride).” Her sad but realistic lyrics tell about “a low and lonely ride.” I knew that feeling. The song comforted and inspired me, and I sang it often when I would first arrive home from a journey.

A prolific singer and songwriter, Dory Previn was queen of the seventies confessional songwriters and her honest words and music struck a clear chord that resonated deep within as I searched for meaning in personal relationships and the absurdity of the world around me. My life seemed calm compared to Previn’s troubled one but I found her irony in dealing with religion (she was raised in a strict Catholic upbringing) and psychology most refreshing. Seems she was rediscovering herself as well. I read once about her live performance at Carnegie Hall and how a whole row of nuns got up and walked out when she sang her song, “Did Baby Jesus Have A Baby Sister.” I laughed out loud. Seems the audience did as well.

As I wandered up and down the stairs of my life in Germany and learned to release losses and embrace new horizons, I felt grateful to Dory Previn for her pure and profound poetry encouraging me to dive to the bottom and go “down, down, down where the Iguanas play.”

Thank you Dory Previn for teaching and reaching me.

6 Replies to “Going Home”

  1. Great to read about another person who has such a response to returning home after being away. I am now humming the chorus part of Dory Previn’s “Going Home” song. I hadn’t realised that she was Andre Previn’s first wife. Her musical response to her divorce was raw and honest. Prior to now, Dory’s music was unknown to me so have enjoyed listening to more of her songs. Thank you to both of you Susan, you for your writing and introducing me to Dory Previn, and to her for her music. She was a musically talented lady.

    1. Joy, even as a kid ‘going home’ was an exciting uncertainty. And often I was surprised by my feelings when I arrived. But always I saw home in a new, more aware light, noticing things I hadn’t paid attention to before. Yes Dory Previn’s great creations live on and on–reaching and teaching. Glad you’re enjoying her music.

  2. Susan, thank you for reintroducing me to Dory Previn and her music. “(Oh but) It’s great to be back home, home is where I want to be, yeah.” (Another old musical love of mine).

    1. Janet, I love that song as well. Great to remember. I was doing some songwriting during my Dory Previn period. Her work was so inspirational!

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