The Legacy Music Project: Lights of Home

Lights of Home by Ned Andrew Solomon over a blurred image of colored lights on a black background

Lights of Home was written shortly after I moved to Nashville in October of 1988. I had left my previous “home” in Baltimore – a single apartment in Cockeysville, Maryland – to stake my claim as a songwriter in Music City. I was just establishing my new “home” in the outskirts of downtown Nashville, with a stoner named Andrew (I can’t recall what he did to make ends meet), and an aspiring stand-up comedian, named Marian.

I had quickly assembled some great musicians (I jammed with two my first night in town!) who were, themselves, brand new to Nashville from other states. In time, these instrumentalists would go on to play for various established country acts, while I continued to go to meetings with producers and publishers, trying to get someone, anyone, interested in my songs, without asking me to change everything about them.

I had not lived in the house I grew up in since I left for college in Baltimore in 1975. I was thirty-one at the time of my arrival in Tennessee. So the “home” I was pining to get back to was more like my “homebase,” the place where my bed, clothes, four walls and a roof stayed put, a theme explored more in another song I will release soon, Traveling Light.

I never did – or not yet? – place a song with a recording artist, but there were a handful of hopeful singers who recorded some of my songs, in their own attempts to establish a music career in Nashville. But when I performed at singer-songwriter shows at Douglas Corner, or The Bluebird Café, or the lounge at the Holiday Inn on West End Avenue, this song was always the best-received, perhaps because there were so many other displaced, unmoored souls in the audiences.

So, here it is, re-imagined from my original CD with mandolin and violin tracks by Myles Thompson, and lovely production by Fett of Azalea Studios. The beautiful background harmony is provided by my wife, and most enthusiastic and supportive collaborator, Gina Lynette.

Here are the lyrics, for those of you who want to read, or maybe sing along. Extra points for those who sing along, and then grace me with your performance!

Thanks for listening. Let me know what you think.

Lights of Home

Music & Lyrics by Ned Andrew Solomon

Verse 1:

My father was a music man, ten months on the road

My mama lived for letters, and late nights on the phone

My father said, “this life is hell

But it’s all I’ve ever known

Somehow it all makes sense again

When I see the lights of home”

Verse 2:

In my final year of high school

I joined a country band

And at the end of five long barroom sets

I had five dollars in my end

Driving back, half awake

On the road alone

Something sweet hung over me

When I saw the lights of home

Chorus:

Lights of home

Like a sailor sees the stars

Well I knew if I could still see you

I wasn’t very far

Lights of home

Like a beacon in the night

Oh bring those lights of home into my sight

Instrumental break

Verse 3:

In a sold-out hall, in Birmingham

On the last night of my tour

I was winding down from all the sound

But the people wanted more

And in the darkness, instantly

Ten thousand matches shone

And I swear that for a moment there

I could see the lights of home

Chorus:

Lights of home

Like a sailor sees the stars (sailor sees the stars)

Well I knew if I could still see you

I wasn’t very far

Lights of home

Like a beacon in the night

Oh bring those lights of home into my sight

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Comments

  1. Ellen Whitley says

    Oh wow! I love this with the added accompaniment and, of course, Gina’s harmony. One of my faves. I also know the Tim Whitley is dancing in heaven. He asked you to play and sing it over and over. It was his favorite, as well. Just lovely. Thank you.

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