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Homeward Bound

by

Simon & Garfunkel



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Paul Simon lived in Brentwood, Essex, England when he wrote this song. When traveling back from Wigan, where he was playing, he got stuck on the station and wrote this. The song has a double meaning: literally, wanting for a ticket home to Brentwood, but on the other hand, yearning to go to his home in the US. (thanks, Paul - London, England)
Simon talked about this song in a 1990 interview with SongTalk magazine: "That was written in Liverpool when I was traveling. What I like about that is that it has a very clear memory of Liverpool station and the streets of Liverpool and the club I played at and me at age 22. It's like a snapshot, a photograph of a long time ago. I like that about it but I don't like the song that much. First of all, it's not an original title. That's one of the main problems with it. It's been around forever. No, the early songs I can't say I really like them. But there's something naive and sweet-natured and I must say I like that about it. They're not angry. And that means that I wasn't angry or unhappy. And that's my memory of that time: it was just about idyllic. It was just the best time of my life, I think, up until recently, these last five years or so, six years... This has been the best time of my life. But before that, I would say that that was."
This was just the second Simon & Garfunkel single, following up "The Sound Of Silence," which became a surprise hit when their record company added instrumentation and released it a year after it was first recorded. The duo had parted ways, but got back together in a hurry when "Sound" hit #1 in America.
Along with "I Am A Rock," this was recorded at a late-night session in New York City with producer Bob Johnston. Simon played acoustic guitar, and Ralph Casale was on electric. Johnston was working on Bob Dylan's Highway 61 album around this time, and Casale recalls that drummer Bobby Gregg and organist Al Kooper - both Dylan regulars - played on this Simon & Garfunkel session as well.
George Harrison played this and "Here Comes The Sun" with Paul Simon in 1975 on Saturday Night Live. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel Artistfacts
More Simon & Garfunkel songs
More songs about traveling
More songs performed on Saturday Night Live
More songs covered by the Glee cast

Comments (16):

"Homeward Bound," was the second charting single by Simon & Garfunkel in the U.S. and "I Am a Rock," was the third. However, "I Am a Rock," was on the Sounds of Silence album (see my previous comment) while "Homeward Bound," would not show up on an album until Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was released in the summer of 1966.
- ted, phoenix, AZ
Actually The Sounds of Silence was released as an album in early 1966 after the success of the title track. And, like the title track, the album consisted (mostly) of recordings first issued on the Wednesday Morning 3 AM album that had electric guitars overdubbed onto them.
- ted, phoenix, AZ
sound of silence wasn't even an album
- Josh, Westborough, MA
This song will always be special to me. It was popular in February of 1966, when I was driving back and forth from Austin where I was in my second year of law school, to Houston, where my mother was dying of cancer. I always heard it on the radio at least twice going and twice returning. It expressed my wistful mood, thinking about the home that would never be there for me again. You always get over loss of parents, but not completely. Mike Milligan, El Paso
- Mike, El Paso, TX, TX
Great song as are many from this duo but your header info is incorrect. This song is from their Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme album NOT Sounds of Silence!
- Jay, Jackson, MI
When we saw Chad and Jeremy a couple of weeks ago (in Kent, OH, USA) Jeremy told a story about meeting this really talented American songwriter who hung around while they were recording what turned out to be their last album. He gave them a song for the album, but they chose a different song of their own as a single. Jeremy said "When you hear this song, you'll know who the songwriter was. Just remember we had it first (even if we didn't release it)." They then broke into "Homeward Bound".
- Janet, Cleveland, OH
Right the story told is that Paul Simon wrote this song on the platform of the British Rail Station in Widnes (N.W. England). The station has placed a number of placques to that effect on the station (they keep getting stolen).

Like most songs, it was written over a period of weeks, but part of that time was at the home of the Folk Club organiser who had booked Paul Simon for his club (He later presented a Folk Programme on Radio Merseyside. I believe his name was Geoff Speed)locally and who had offered Paul a spare room in which to sleep overnight. This is a common occurence when the booking fee would not cover the overnight stay in a hotel.
- Bill, Liverpool, England
I can relate to this song whenever I'm homesick. About the same I can relate to the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B". Seems that at least two groups needed to sing about being homesick. Heck, that's life. Things will cause us to feel "out of place" and wish we were back home. In fact, we really are "out of place" for as long as we are on this earth. If you are in God's divine family, You should be glad that earth isn't our home.
- andrew, birmingham, United States
Probably my favorite song by S&G...ok, The Only Living Boy in New York is a contender.
- Miles, Vancouver, Canada
Hi folk,

Lets get this right; during the course of my bicycle trip from Glasgow to Brighton, Sussex, I accidentally came across a sing on the Runcorn train station, and there was the sign saying that Paul Simon wrote his song: Homeward Bound, and it was verified by a taxi driver that I spoke to later.
www.eddy.nu
- ed, lĀ“don, England
Paul of Salford, got it wrong man. And right. Paul Simon did live in Brentwood and played a few gigs there. No one's saying PS didn't write the song at Widnes.
Chill man!
Paul Simon sang this on "Saturday Night Live" in 1976 with George Harrison. They alternated singing the verses but sang harmony on the chorus. In the same set, the performed "Here Comes The Sun" the same way.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
simon also didn't write this after he was running after a train because he was late.
- Sara MacKenzie, Middle of Nowhere, FL
I remember a cover version by Petula Clark.
- Howard, St. Louis Park, MN
Simon and Garfunkel (and then Simon alone) used to open all their concerts with "Homeward Bound" -- except for the ones in their hometown of New York. Those always opened with "Mrs. Robinson."
- Eric, Teaneck, NJ
Paul has got it wrong - Paul Simon wrote this on Widnes railway station.
- Paul, Salford, England
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