Goin' Home

This song about dying, which is popular for funerals, was written by American composer, music historian and writer, William Arms Fisher (1861–1948), based on the Largo melody of the second movement of Dvorak's Symphony No. 9 in E Minor "From the New World".

Although many people assume that the tune was originally an African American spiritual which was used as the basis of Dvorak's work, in fact the opposite is true, and the symphony inspired the creation of the folk-song.   And as a student of Dvorak's, Fisher has particular understanding of his wory.

The song was originally published in 1922 by the Oliver Ditson Company. It is now in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1923.   However in places where the copyright term is the author's life plus 70 years, it will possibly not become public domain until 2019.

Hymn books where it has been published include:



Large choir, unaccompanied:

Soloist and professional choir with orchestra:

Boy's choir, piano accompaniment, competition performance:

Instrumental - orchestral arrangement:


Goin' home. Goin' home. I'm a-goin' home.
Quiet-like some still day, I'm just goin' home.
It's not far, just close by, through an open door.
Work all done, cares laid by, goin' to roam no more;
Mother's there 'xpecting me, father's waiting, too,
Lots of folks gathered there, all the friends I knew.

Morning star lights the way, restless dream all done.
Shadows gone, break of day, real life just begun.
There's no break, there's no end, just a-living on;
Wide awake, with a smile, going on and on.
Going home. Going home, I'm just going home.
It's not far, just close by, through an open door.

See also

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