Come Back Home
by Jonathan Sprout & Dave Kinnoin
song celebrating John Muir is available on Jonathan Sprout's third album
about American heroes, American
Heroes #3. While Come Back Home is the second song on the album,
the album cover art features Muir, with the other heroes grouped together
on a Yosemite mountain hillside with the famous Half Dome in the background,
and an enlarged inset with John Muir himself waving in front of Yosemite
Although categorized within the children’s music genre, American
Heroes #3 is anything but juvenile.
a collection of pop rock tunes with a sophisticated
sound, rich with intricate, interweaving counter melodies and a full
assortment of instruments, including walls of electric and acoustic guitars,
pop synth sounds, banjos, mandolins, accordions, horns and various keyboards.
Sprout's clear strong voice is frequently accompanied by background vocalists
who are not children, unlike so much children's music. The album
was among 6 nominees for a 2010 Grammy Award.
besides John Muir included on the album AmericanHeroes
#3 include Jane
Addams, Wilma Rudolph, Miilton Hershey, Elizabeth Blackwell, Jonas Salk, George
Washington Carver, Cesar Chavez, Pocahontas, and Thomas Jefferson.
About the Song
Jonathan Sprout tells us that he is a fan of the Sierra Club, and that his
passion for the outdoors and the wilderness made it essential that he include
John Muir on this album.
Jonathan reports that he
has visited Yosemite several times, once via a self-contained bicycle camping
trip. Jonathan says:
"The CD cover artwork was inspired by photos I
took of Half Dome. It was Muir's quotation "The mountains are calling
me 'come back home'" that inspired me to write the song from his perspective.
I used my recollections of my visits to his sacred sites as well as his books
and his magazine articles as jumping off points for the lyrics. I learned "alpen
glow" from him. I share with John Muir that passion for the "being" of
being outdoors and the struggle over the writing about it. Dave Kinnoin and
I spent dozens of hours editing and re-writing the lyric until I thought
it captured the essence of Mr. Muir's simple passions. I share Mr. Muir's
wanderlust and the need he no doubt felt to preserve beautiful natural places.
I see one of his greatest gifts as the gift of foresight. It's an honor to
feel connected to this great man through what I do. I hope that our song
about him and my concerts that include stories about him will always be faithful
to his deepest sentiments."
As Sprout indicates, this song is voiced in
the first person as if John Muir himself were singing about the mountains,
his dreams of exploring, climbing, and protecting them.
The lyrics are
fully evocative of the wilderness John Muir loved so well. Through this song,
we learn how Muir yearned to: "catch a glimpse of a mountaintop
/ Awash with alpenglow, /
Let me live out a dream on Yosemite Stream /
Where my wilderness joys abound, /
To discover the truth of eternal youth /
Upon that sacred ground."
Most of the song celebrates the beauty of the wilderness, but part way through,
poignantly asks, "Now
who will preserve it all for us / So we can come back home?"
About Jonathan Sprout
2010 Grammy nominated recording artist Jonathan Sprout has found his unique
calling to help teach kisd the differences between celebrities and heroes.
In 1994, Sprout was startled that most kids responded to the question "who
is your hero? by listing television cartoon characters and celebrity athletes
whose off the field antics were anything but heroic. That’s when his
idea of writing and recording songs about real heroes was born. With the help
of author-lecturer Dr. Dennis Denenberg (50 American Heroes Every Kid Should
Know), a noted heroes specialist, Sprout “chose
people who were heroes day after day, who lived and breathed elements of good
character, who are good examples that children can understand and emulate.”
Fifteen years later, the psychology major from Bucknell University has performed
thousands of concerts in elementary schools across the eastern United States.
Jonathan Sprout has written thirty songs about some of the most remarkable
men and women in American history, ranging chronologically from Pocahontas
to Neil Armstrong. His list of heroes includes politicians (George Washington,
Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson), athletes (Jackie Robinson, Wilma Rudolph),
scientists (Jonas Salk, Thomas Edison), feminists (Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth
Blackwell), civil rights leaders (Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass,
Cesar Chavez) and others. He has created three American heroes albums; the
latest, American Heroes #3, was released January 13, 2010
and has already received numerous awards.
“I’ve always loved learning about amazing people,” says Sprout. “Now
I have a professional excuse to learn and write about some of the best. Who
else do you know who gets to sing his own songs about real heroes for captive,
star-struck audiences? Having grown up among parent and grandparent educators,
teaching is in my blood. The particular combination of entertainment and education
that comes from singing about heroes gives me a sense of fulfillment and joy
I’d only dreamed of in my early days when I was performing in nightclubs
Highlights: 5,8665 lifetime performances * 4,839 children’s concerts
* 758 Songwriting Workshops * Nine albums * Grammy nomination 2010 "Best
Children's Recording" * iParenting "Best Product of 2009" Winner
* 3 Parents’ Choice Awards * 3 NAPPA Gold Awards * 2 Film Advisory Board
Awards of Excellence * Family Choice 2009 Award * Dove Foundation "Family-Approved" Seal
* Dr. Toy 10 Best Audio/Video Products for 2009
For album and concert information:
PO Box 188
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