Closer To Home

Album: Closer To Home (1970)
Charted: 22
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  • Everybody listen to me
    And return me my ship
    I'm your captain
    I'm your captain
    Though I'm feeling mighty sick

    I've been lost now for days uncounted
    And it's months since I've seen home
    Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
    Or am I all alone?

    If you return me to my home port
    I will kiss you Mother Earth
    Take me back now
    Take me back now
    To the port of my birth

    Am I in my cabin dreaming?
    Or are you really scheming
    To take my ship away from me?
    You'd better think about it
    I just can't live without it
    So please don't take my ship from me

    I can feel the hand of a stranger
    And it's tightening around my throat
    Heaven help me
    Heaven help me
    Take this stranger from my boat
    I'm your captain
    I'm your captain
    Though I'm feeling mighty sick
    Everybody listen to me
    And return me my ship
    I'm your captain
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    I'm your captain
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    I'm your captain
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
    I'm your captain
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah...

    I'm getting closer to my home
    I'm getting closer to my home
    I'm getting closer to my home Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 53

  • Chris from AlabamaAfter a long and difficult deployment on the USS KITTY HAWK CVA63 in 1972 the song resonated with the crew and set a somber mood for the longing for home. Now 50 years later there is still that longing
  • Bluboo from Bald Knob, ArTo Don from Tennessee ... the song more reminiscent of the USS Pueblo was "Ride Captain Ride" by Blues Image.
  • Janet Grace from British ColumbiaI like Kitty from California's comment about this being a spiritual song. I started praying just now and this song started to play in my mind. I immediately wondered about GFR and wondered how the band members were and if they were all still living. May the Lord Jesus bless them and give them peace and assurance. This is a beautiful song, it's longing and beautiful sadness. We've all had days like this and longed for home. May God bless everyone here.
  • Rusty Russell from NcI do not know what Mark's original intentions were for the song but like a lot of great songs the words come out easily and the song gets written in a short period of time. It as though the words come from heaven. I know at some point Mark did embrace Christianity. I wonder if this song was a seed planter.
  • Don from Kentucky I think of the USS Pueblo when I hear this song
  • Meeka from Sydney, Australia Has anyone ever tried to suss out the conversation/lyrics beneath the final string section? I just heard it on headphones for the first time and heard it underneath the music. There was a "stop it, stop it" I could make out, it the rest is a mystery.
  • M.o. from New Alsace, Indiana This song reminds me of a person with early stages of dementia and realizing they have it. As we get older we come to grips with the fact we can’t out run Father Time. Very powerful song! Always loved it!
  • Kitty from CaliforniaAlways felt it was a spiritual song, so looked it up.
    As is stated by the lyricist it's a message from our Creator which came to him in his prayer time, as he was grieving the loss of his father
    and likely pondering Eternity and the meaning of life and death.
    The ship is our eternal soul, something the Adversary tries to steal with his schemes, even unto the point of murder for
    he seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
    This realization makes him sick and he pleads to heaven for help.
    He believes he is getting closer to his home, the place where he was born, the heavenly real.

    As a believer in Yeshua Hamashiach, he is assured of that future love paradise.
    Maranatha
  • Gat1955 from The Gulf UsaIt makes me think of a ships captain in the 1600 or so, where they are lost. He has tried to get them to the new land, but he's lost from being sick for so long. He can't keep control of the ship any longer and the crew are taking over from despair and anger from sailing for months. Not actually feeling the hands of a stranger, tightening around my throat. It is the crew taking over his ship, not even knowing where they are going either. In his sickness he sees himself getting closer to his home as he is dying.
  • Neil from Sf BayI tend to agree with Moe from Miami, but I think of it as more mental illness than a drug trip. “Please don’t take my ship (mind) from me!” Struggling to stay afloat and away from storms, whether real or metaphorical, is so difficult for everybody in these rough seas. Where’s my chart and compass?
  • Jake, But Not The One From State Farm from Pacific NorthwestWeird how songs seem to have different meanings when you listen to them through the lens of different times... I haven't heard this song in many years but I ran into it today in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.. and it captures the isolation and anxiety of those of us high risk individuals kind of trapped in our homes indefinitely are feeling. Look at the CDC suicide number.. then listen to this song.
  • Maxwall I loved this song the moment I heard on jukebox 25 cents 3songs in high school,I always thought it had something to do with American capitalism strangling the system of youth due to the times , introversion perspective I thought it was a personal journey to finding out your destiny in life and going mad at the same time, also loved the guitar playing,and tommy James had a long radio playing crimson and clover in those days .
  • Moondance from Utica, MiI remember watching them on TV singing this. No shirts swinging their Loooooong hair back and forth. Us girls went nuts.
  • Robert from Dallas, TxI always thought the lyrics were pretty straight forward. The isolation of life at sea, especially for a captain who rarely ever leaves his ship, ends up warping the mind. There are plenty of studies showing social isolation in humans can lead to panic, fear, extreme paranoia, depression, and suicide.

    Loneliness, lost:
    I've been lost now for days uncounted
    And it's months since I've seen home
    Can you hear me? Can you hear me?
    Or am I all alone?

    Fear - Begging, pleading, bargaining:

    If you return me to my home port
    I will kiss you Mother Earth
    Take me back now
    Take me back now
    To the port of my birth

    Paranoia:

    Am I in my cabin dreaming?
    Or are you really scheming
    To take my ship away from me?
    You'd better think about it
    I just can't live without it
    So please don't take my ship from me

    Madness:

    I can feel the hand of a stranger
    And it's tightening around my throat
    Heaven help me
    Heaven help me
    Take this stranger from my boat
    I'm your captain
    I'm your captain
    Though I'm feeling mighty sick

    His madness lead to mutiny. Which was stated in the very first lines of the song:

    Everybody listen to me
    And return me my ship
    I'm your captain
    I'm your captain
    Though I'm feeling mighty sick

    It's one of those extremely rare awesome songs that tell a bitchin' story any way you slice it.
  • Birdman_euston from London, UkThe guitar solo before the long fadeout is simply beautiful. Gives me a buzz whenever I hear it.
  • Moe from Miami, FlI think this song has some psychedelic aspects, he is basically on some kind of hallucinogenic such as LSD maybe even and is having a bit of a bad trip, this can happen to somebody with something as benign as weed. He is having a bit of a bumpy ride in his mind and is trying to regain control of his senses, (I'm your captain)and he is afraid of losing his mind (ship) he seeks help from God (Heaven help me) and slowly regains control (I'm getting closer to my home). I think this is at least a plausible interpretation to the meaning of this song.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn June 13th 1970, Grand Funk Railroad performed at the Ocean Ice Palace* in Bricktown, New Jersey...
    The opening act was a New Jersey band called Steel Mill, and a member of the band was a twenty year old Bruce Springsteen...
    Just under two months later on August 9th, 1970 GFR's "Closer to Home" would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #69; ten weeks later on October 18th, 1970 it would peak at #22 {for 1 week} and it stayed on the chart for 12 weeks...
    * Ticket cost to the Ice Palace on 06-13-1970 was $5.
  • Paul from Southern Pines, NcIf I remember correctly,

    Grand Funk was playing versions of this Song as early as January 1970. I had heard it at Madison Square Garden (2/13 /1970).
    It was later released in July 1970 on the 'Closer To Home' album, with the full orchestra version.

    Hard to believe, but from 1970 thru 1972 > Grand Funk was the #1 Hard Rock band in the Land.
  • Tom from Marietta, OhI think of it as a story about the captain of a haunted ship that is being taken over by those evil spirits. Especially the lyrics, "I can feel the hand, of a stranger, And it's tightening, around my throat." Helpless, he can only cry out, "Heaven help me, Heaven help me." The spirits gradually drive the captain insane, and by end of the song, he has totally lost his mind. I picture him in his cabin, curled up with his knees against his chest, rocking back and forth and repeating over and over, "I'm getting closer to my home..."
  • John from Van Buren, ArI love this band and as someone stated they are very underrated. I read all the comments but I dont recall anyone discussing how Terry Knight who originally sang in the band back in the mid too late 60's became there manager and later on because of a contract he drew up basically screwed them out of a better paycheck should I say! They eventually broke away from Terry Knight but by this time Mr. Knight owned most of the rights to the original recordings. needless to say they had to start over. about 1973 they came out with the "We're An American Band" (this comment is based on my past memories of them. of course my memory isn't what it used to be so sorry if it isn't verbatim) they are still my favorite band! Jake
  • R from Virginia Beach, VaI saw GFR last week with my teenage son, they were the first band I ever saw in concert way back in the early 70's. Even though there is a definite riff between Mark and the remaining two members I must say the current line up is phenominal. Way better than I even thought they would be. When Max Carl touched his chest (heart) during this song I thought "what would Mark say"? then I remembered how lead singer-sonwriters like Mark, John Fogerty, Steve Perry etc push the limits of their greatness too much. Bands will and do tour with out them. Don and Mel are out there - smiling, playing perfectly, having a good time and kicking a$$ for audiences young and old, they earned that right and keep GRF alive.
  • Sue from Ft Myers Beach, FlI first heared this song when I was going into 7th grade & a friend of mine was killed as she crossed the street hit by a motorcycle. Every time I hear it , It always is in memory of Tracy & I wonder how her life would have been . It was my first real experience with someone passing & the song gave me comfort & reflection.
  • Rick from Navarre, FlGary is 100% correct. The song is "I'm Your Captain". the alburm was "Closer to Home". Due to the last half of the song saying "I'm Getting Closer to My Home", people assumed that the song was "Closer to Home" and mistakedly called it by the albulm name, hence the confusion on the title. Some records (i.e. various song albulms)still list the song incorrectly due to the confusion.
  • Anthony from Morton, Pai agree with Linda, both are great songs
  • Linda from Omaha, NeI am so glad they didn't worry about making the song short for airtime. This song is right up there with Starship Trooper by Yes.
  • Gary from Seattle, WaFirst off this is the wrong title. The song IS I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home). Tamara is 100% correct as Mark was never addicted to heroin. Had him on the show last week (one of many times) and although he'd have a few, for GFR to perform at the high level they did, "we were stone cold straight," he said. LOL.

    Be safe,

    Gary, Seattle. @ KZOK 102.5 10-3PM
  • Gary from Seattle, WaFirst off this is the wrong title. The song IS I'm Your Captain (Closer To Home). Tamara is 100% correct as Mark was never addicted to heroin. Had him on the show last week (one of mant times) and although he'd have a few, for GFR to perform at the high level they did, "we were stone cold straight,: he said. LOL.

    Be safe,

    Gary, Seattle. @ KZOK 102.5 10-3PM
  • Tamara from Jacksonville, FlApril: Your dad is not only wrong, he's dead wrong. Mark Farner was never addicted to heroin. Those guys mostly just drank and smoked pot. Also, Mark has written an autobiography in which he frankly discusses his past, and there is no mention of drug addiction in it.
  • Jim from Somewhere, PaMary, just saw your correction, sorry.. The posts seem to be out og order. But anyway as bad as my hearing has gotten, the way HOME is sung, sounds (in no way ) like "World". I dont know old you are, or if you play in a band, or are subjected to continuous loud noise. But if any of those are the case, a hearing check up is a good idea. It saved me from doin any more damage than I had already done..........take care...........JIM
  • Jim from Somewhere, PaTo Mary in AZ:
    If you heard "I'M getting closer to my world" 21 times, You should maybe have your hearing checked. (no offense intended).. I've been playing, or working with bands (live and recording studios) for over 35 years. My hearing is not near what it used to be. However the line is clearly pronounced, "Closer to my HOME"
    JIM
  • Mary from Phoenix, Az....sorry, the lyric is "I'm getting closer to my HOME", not 'world'. It sure sounds like 'world' though.
  • Mary from Phoenix, AzThis song is annoying to me. It's too long with the same lyric at the end. They say "I'm getting closer to my world" 21 times before the radio usually fades out. Sometimes it seems like a million!
  • Jim from Somewhere, PaTo answer Bob Pape's ?. I believe the Who still hold the record for the loudest band (i think its in the guinness book of records). As far as bands with 2 drummers, there are several. Two that come to mind right a way are the Allman Bros, and Phil Collins.
    Of the many times I had seen GFR in concert, it was just the 3 of them. I've never seen them 2 drummers.
    As far as this being about a heroin addiction or other type drug activity. GFR were dead set against drugs, and Mark is very religous. If you listen to the anouncements on the live album (just before Mean Mistreater) the meaning behind that is, if someone passes a joint, dont take it. It is actually an anti drug statement. If you listen closely to the lyrics serveral of there songs, you can easily catch the religous alagory
  • Bobpape from Austin, TxIs this true?----- I heard one that (up until AC/DC) they were loudest band ever recoeded. Also, what other bands played with two drummers (using complete drum sets)?
  • April from Ferndale, WaI was surprised to see someone who is close to home so to speak. I went to Mountlake Terrace High, though I lived in Lynnwood.I would have graduated in '94 if I had been able to stay, but I had to move to Everett in my sophmore year. If Mike still sees these comments I was curious if he to went to Mountlake Terrace High too.
  • April from Ferndale, WaMy dad told me one of the band members had a heroin addiction and this song was a metaphor relating to that. The lyric "are you really scheming, To take my ship away from me" is about the other band members trying to get him to quit. The lyric "Everybody, listen to me, And return me, my ship" sounds like a demand to leave him alone with his addiction. "I'm your captain, I'm your captain" could be relating to Mark Farner considering himself the leader or "captain" of the band and so being felt that he should be able to do what he wants even if it was self destructrive.
  • Suez from By Lake Erie, MiI've always known that the song is about war-times...whatever battle you may be IN. It was written in the 70's and the Vietnam crisis was an unavoidable concern. Especially for those of draft age with their friends and cousins being taken. This is Mark's contribution maybe? A song that soldiers have clung to in times of fear.

    Today I might think the song could be tied in to the fact that the bass and drum players in the Good Ship Grand Funk (Corp.) have voted out their Captain Mark and it's no wonder he's feeling "mighty sick"....I'm kinda nauseated about that myself.
  • Maxwell from Houston, TxThis song is about the US Pueblo incident.
  • Yvonne from Hastings, MnMark Farner in interviews said this song "came to him" early one morning while sipping coffee in his Michigan farm house. He also said it was about the vietnam vets returning home from the way.
  • Dave from Oak Park, MiOK, I bought the CLOSER TO HOME, expanded-edition CD with the Bonus Tracks and Tommy Baker (Who?) arranged & conducted the orchestra at the end.

    Yes, in New York; ('cause it's closer to Cleveland where the rest of the song was recorded than L.A.--eh?!) :D

    Still an inspiring song--great on CD in my car Anytime!
  • Larry from Greenwood, ArThe song is about the condition of the world and GOD's concern for it and us.
  • Larry from Greenwood, ArThis song was recorded in Cleveland and orchestra was conducted by Tommy Baker.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaThis is the best Grand Funk song.
  • Brian from Lakewood, CoBeing a fan of Greek Mythology, I have always thought the song was about Ulysses and his voyage home from the Trojan War.
  • Carmen from Bethany Beach, DeThis song has been a favorite of mine for over 30 years. It does everything music should do for an individual. I am a former musician (drummer) and I loved playing this tune! The syncopation in bass and drums is a thumper and the base sound is the fullest of any I've heard. To me, this is what musics about. I rock out, sing with it, cry with it, and pound the crap out of it whenever my ipod and me get the chance. And now I get to turn my young grand kids onto it all over again!
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI always interpreted the song in a metaphorical view. I always thought it meant the ship had been taken over, or was being taken over, and every time, I heard the "I'm getting closer..." I thought it meant the captain was dying and go9ing to Heaven or some otherworldly place. This interpretation is probably way off, but that's what I thought the song was about before I read the song facts on it. What do you guys think?
  • Zola from Dublin, OhLove the song, very upbeat and happy def grand funks best
  • Marc from Miami, FlWhen a friend of mine gave me the album "Closer to home", he said that it sucked and I thought it would but when I put it on my sears turn table, I loved it.I was in high school and the truth is, I learned how to improvise by listening to Grand Funk. These guys are under rated as far as rock and roll history books go. I think it's because Brittish bands of the 60's and 70's had darker lyrics. But these guys had a rawness that defines what rock should be, like Chuck Berry young,not too polished and dangerously fun. Mark Farner is a great singer and a great guitarist in his own right. I am a professional musician today in part because of his influence.
  • Marc from Miami, FlWhen a friend of mine gave me the album "Closer to home", he said that it sucked and I thought it would but when I put it on my sears turn table, I loved it.I was in high school and the truth is, I learned how to improvise by listening to Grand Funk. These guys are under rated as far as rock and roll history books go. I think it's because Brittish bands of the 60's and 70's had darker lyrics. But these guys had a rawness that defines what rock should be, youg,not too polished and dangerously fun. Mark Farner is a great singer and a great guitarist in his own right. I am a professional musician today in part because of his influence.
  • Steven from Conyers, United StatesBack in high school (early 70s) this was my favorite band.. as my friends listened to pop radio, I was banginging away lol...
    The last album I bought was the coin one.. didnt care for it, and after that They sucked lol
    the first few, were great.. along with Deep Purple.. the begining of heavy metal
  • Matthew from Milton, CanadaThis getitng to be my favorite song of alltime its such a beutifull Meoldy, Grand funk rail road are the most underrated band in american history, everyone talks about Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, The who, Pink floyd, Aerosmith, Ect ect but Grand funk are just as good if not better....What a great song
  • Dave from Oak Park, MiWas the orchestra at the end of the song, Sid Sharp's orchestra, arranged & conducted by Jimmie Haskell and recorded in Hollywood?
  • Ty from Niagara Falls, CanadaSome say it's about Abraham Lincoln, as in the poem "O Captain, My Captain", by Walt Whitman and featured in the movie Dead Poet's Society. Anybody heard anything about this?
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