Josef Locke – I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen

• “I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen” set to a picture of Josef Locke. Thanks to vulcanswork.

Recorded on 26 September, 1947 and released as a 10″ 78RPM single (Columbia DB-2351) in November, 1947.

The father of my father passed away yesterday at the grand old age of 93.

This was his favourite song – he was definitely old skool : – )

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen” was his “party piece” and he would fairly belt it out in front of friends and family, in keeping with good old-fashioned Glasgow traditions.

His wife of nearly 60 years (my Nanna) wasn’t actually a Kathleen; she was a Mary. You could say he was an unorthodox romantic, haha.

Josef Locke was the stage name of Derry-born tenor, Joseph McLaughlin, known affectionately as The Singing Bobby due to his earlier career in the Irish Guards and the RUC. His late 1940s version of this old standard was largely responsible for re-popularizing the song in Britain. The number was written by Thomas P. Westendorf in 1875 which, oddly enough, was the same year that my Grandad’s football team (Partick Thistle) is thought to have been originally founded. Spooky! Of the song itself, Wikipedia tells:

In spite of its German-American origins, it is widely mistaken to be an Irish ballad. Westendorf, then teaching at the reform school known as the Indiana House of Refuge for Juvenile Offenders in Hendricks County, Indiana, wrote it – apparently – for his wife (who was, however, named Jennie). It’s in the form of an “answer” to a popular ballad of the time, “Barney, Take Me Home Again,” composed by Westendorf’s close friend, George W. Brown, writing under the nom de plume of George W. Persley.

I’ll Take You Home Again Kathleen
across the ocean wide and wild
to where your heart has ever been
since first you were my blushing bride
The roses all have left your cheeks
I watched them fade away and die
Your voice is sad when ere you speak
and the tears bedim my loving eyes
But I will take you back Kathleen
to where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home Kathleen

I know you love me Kathleen dear
your heart was ever fond and true
I always feel when you are near
That life holds nothing dear but you
the smiles that once you gave to me
I scarcely ever see them now
the many, many times I see
a darkening shadow on your brow
But I will take you back Kathleen
to where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I will take you to your home again

I added this into my collection last night and immediately felt much better for doing so.

Truly, a boy couldn’t have wished for a better Grandad.

Tommy Sheridan (1924-2017) RIP.

x

Available at Amazon.

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