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The Story of 'Bring Me Back Home Again'


BREAKDOWN ANALYSIS by Planet Giles


TRACK #10


BRING ME BACK HOME AGAIN

(from the INSIGHTS album released in 2022)


He allowed me to use this thing he said about this song on the TESTIMONIALS page of this website. So I think I’m safe in quoting Charlie here when he heard this song:


The last song should come with a Government Health Warning...!”


Interestingly, this is Peter’s favourite song of the INSIGHTS collection. When we took the album to our dear friend Mazz who lives just outside Oxford, put it on our car CD, opened the doors and we all sat outside to listen to the whole album in the sun, I distinctly saw a tear peeping out of Pete’s eye at the end of this song. Yet, it started out as only two verses in total for quite some time.


Because the melody for these verses was so strong, we knew that we couldn’t shortcut any of the writing. Whatever we added to these verses had to be as good or better. Songwriters listen up! We know that there are those among you who will have been there and got the tee shirt on this. And it’s no mean feat to accomplish, let me tell you. For the newer writers among you, if you write a hook or a verse, a bridge or a solo, don’t just write anything to fill up the bars. Because it’s a songwriting sadness when certain parts don’t match up to the excellence of the best idea. Perseverance is the key!


Pete and I literally had to wait on sofas with a piano and a keyboard and sit it out until those ideas came. And when they did, we were not disappointed. The songs should write themselves. And that’s what this one did. If you have the patience to sit and wait, vamp and comp chords too until those ideas spring forth and dovetail together as they did in this song.


Randy Newman’s piano and his ensemble arrangements have always been a big influence on us. And I was determined to pay homage to this supreme songwriter in the instrumental break between verses 3 and 4. If you listen you can hear the familiar dissonances he uses to give the music a slightly edgy, uncomfortable feel. This is done to reflect the meaning of the words. In our case, they illustrated the lyric that came before:


“Is the memory really a dream I dreamed

No suffering and no pain?”


I was already very much used to playing the turnarounds that Newman uses from my time at school learning the classical folk music that expressed the Depression era in America. The music that particularly influenced and affected my playing was that of Aaron Copeland. Later, my music teacher heard these influences in my playing and introduced me to the sublime music of Charles Ives, which I loved. Leonard Bernstein used to speak often of these two composers, Copeland being a close personal friend of his.


There is a poignancy to their music, as there is in Newman’s, and as there is in those original verses we wrote which we sought to maintain throughout the song.


Later, there is a solo which sounds great with solo piano, but to have it orchestrated would be my preference. It has a definite hymnal, sacred feeling to it. I spent years from the age of 11 playing piano for the school orchestra. And playing hymns, with their 4- part harmony, have always held a place of great affection in my heart and soul. I think this early influence in my training and love of music is evident in the composition and execution of this song. And so it is with Pete who also loves classical music, and who played violin at school whereas I played ‘cello (though not at the same time in the same school!).


The title of the song is by no means an accident. Whether a person is a believer or no, there is a yearning in the human soul to ‘return home’. Spiritually this means returning to the universal oneness from whence we came. Or to The Father’s House. Or some such thing. Whatever speaks to you really. But however it speaks to you, there is a universal consensus that longs for the peace, safety and comfort of ‘what lies beyond’, and what will take us away from the perpetual feeling of discomfort that souls have when they have to incarnate in physical form and ‘endure’ the often difficult circumstances of life on earth.


For life on earth is indeed a Schoolhouse that contains within it many lessons that need to be learned before our respective ‘missions’ have been completed and fulfilled, following which we will all return home again one day.


And in these times of great uncertainty, of that we can all be reassured...



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