Mudcat Café message #1043943 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2103   Message #1043943
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
29-Oct-03 - 01:39 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req/Add: Going Home / Goin' Home (Dvorak)
Subject: RE: Going Home / Goin' Home
William Arms Fisher was a student of Dvorak's during Dvorak's brief sojourn in the United States as a visiting professor of music (1892-1895).
Dvorak was upset with statements that American ideas had influenced his Symphony No. 9, especially the Largo, and said "the motifs are my own, and some I brought with me. This is and remains Czech music." At the time, no one could see that the pentatonic scales and the syncopation in the themes are just as characteristic of Bohemian folk music as of Negro spirituals (Uwe Kraemer, music historian). As stated in threads here before, no elements in the symphony have any antecedants in American music. (To a man from Prague, the epithet "New World," attached to his symphony later, would have been amusing, since in Prague, the "New World" was the district for restaurants, entertainment and prostitutes.)
In 1922, Fisher wrote the lyrics and made the arrangement of "Goin' Home", set to Dvorak's Largo from his "Symphony No. 9."
Paul Robson was one of the first to popularize the song, using the "dialect" which some people think is demeaning.

Fisher is responsible for the most heard arrangement of "Deep River" and several other spirituals.
Fisher's important "Seventy Negro Spirituals," for "low voices" and published in the Musicians Library by Oliver Ditson, 1926, is the basis of many of the versions used by musicians today.