Goin’ Home

We, Heather Pierson and I, will be singing this hauntingly beautiful song set to music from Dvorak’s 9th Symphony. We’re doing it at David Bradley’s Memorial Service next Saturday afternoon in Norway, Maine, at our First Universalist Church. Dave was a totally remarkable man who died last week, January 7, at the age of 92. Even though he could hardly walk and had trouble sometimes concentrating, he continued to sing in our choir, until finally he couldn’t make it anymore just a few weeks ago. One of his favorite songs was this Goin’ Home set to the music of the Largo of the New World Symphony of Antonin Dvorak. Dave always wanted me to sing it but some parts of it are a bit high for me, so Heather will sing it with me and cover the high parts.

Below is the obituary for Dave from the Lewiston Sun Journal. And below that is the wonderful rendition of Goin’ Home sung by the great Paul Robeson. It was pitched lower for his beautiful bass voice.

David J. Bradley

Sunday, January 13, 2008

NORWAY – David J. Bradley, 92, of Norway, died Jan. 7.

Born on Feb. 22, 1915, he grew up in Madison, Wis., and attended Dartmouth College.

In 1938, he was National Ski Champion in Nordic Combined and a member of the U.S. Olympic Ski Team in 1940, cancelled due to the war.

He later entered the Army and Harvard Medical School, completing a surgical residency. In 1941, he married and had six children.

He was a medical officer at atomic bomb tests in the Bikini Islands in 1946, and wrote a bestseller, “No Place to Hide,” about this experience. Other books include “Expert Skiing,” “Lion Among Roses,” and “Robert Frost: A Tribute to the Source.”

He taught at Dartmouth College.

In 1985, he was inducted into the Ski Hall of Fame.

Following a divorce, he married Sally Tucker Smart in 1998 and settled in Norway.

He is survived by his wife Sally of Norway; six children, including Kim Emmons of Norway; stepson, Kevin Smart of Norway; 11 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Ben Tucker III of Norway.

Here’s Paul Robeson, live at Carnegie Hall in 1958, singing Goin’ Home. Thanks to Indigo1045 for posting the music on YouTube.
Here’s a comment by bejazzytwo on Paul Robeson:

Indigo, I thank you for posting this music by Paul Robeson….His voice has not been stilled!!!…Our government forbade him a living because of politics and prejudice…yet the music lives on despite politics or racist motivation. The voice and music are for all people, regardless to color, status, political persuasion or any other disadvantages suffered…all who loved music and all who believed in human rights knew this man among men!!!!…Long live his legacy!!!!!

And I might add: Long live the legacy of David Bradley, another remarkable man and genius, too!

Finally, to hear Lawrence Tibbett sing Goin’ Home in the original key, the one we’re doing it in, go here.

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  1. SleepyLaKate’s avatar

    Wow, what a sad song. And what a voice! I’m sure you and Heather will do that song justice.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Well, it’ll be a challenge. Especially because it will come at the end of the service with all the Bradley relatives and Sally Tucker (his wife) relatives there and the likelihood of tears flowing. We won’t cry? We better not cry or we won’t be able to sing. I want to practice it a lot this week — I mean the singing, not the crying! :roll:

  3. SleepyLaKate’s avatar

    That’s right, ’cause you never cry, right? 😉 :smile:

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    That’s right. I never cry. I’m tough — ya gotta be ta live in Maine, as you know. 😎 Well, Heather has lived in Maine longer than I have and she’s writing “Don’t cry!” on her music.

  5. Dragonstar’s avatar

    Beautiful, beautiful. What a voice that man had.
    Plenty of practice helps to stop the throat seizing up, the crying can come later!

  6. chris davis’s avatar

    Nice, Marde; I actually missed Dave’s obituary in the paper and was happy to get it via your blog. Just stopped in to see what is up in the world, or in a little piece of it. Your voice is SO good, I enjoy it (most…) Sundays very much I must say (the only time I don’t is when I don’t go to church – I don’t want to make it sound like I enjoy your voice merely sometimes, and sometimes not! I look forward to hearing this favorite of Dave’s sung by you and Heather this Saturday.

  7. Mardé’s avatar

    Hey, thanks Mererid and Chris. Yes, Paul Robeson was the greatest, way ahead of his time. But I’d like to pull a Lawrence Tibbett because we’re doing it in the original Dvorak key. I have been practicing, and I’ll push the crying off ’til later, as you say Mererid. After all, I live in Maine where ya gotta be tough. 😉

    Thanks very much, Chris! My ego needed that! You never know when you’re making a fool out of yourself standing up there singing every week. So I’m really glad you like to hear me singing even if it’s only when you’re there! 😀

  8. barbara’s avatar

    Hi Mardé,
    My sincere sympathy goes out to you and David’s family and friends. What a wonderful tribute to a friend !
    This is the first time I heard Paul Robeson! An exquisite voice !

    Hugs to you, my friend.

  9. Mardé’s avatar

    Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for your nice message and hugs. Yes, Paul Robeson was a great singer and all-around genius.
    We’re getting yet more snow here. Keeps one busy clearing spaces. :roll: 😀

  10. Dragonstar’s avatar

    I was thinking of you yesterday. Hope all went as it should.

  11. Mardé’s avatar

    Thank you, Mererid! It was a fantastic service but long, and Goin’ Home was at the end. I survived and it was exhilarating but exhausting. I think I might write a separate post on it all. Thank you for thinking of me!

  12. k80’s avatar

    😥 Beautiful! What an amazing man. The world will be alittle sadder now that he is gone. How can you not cry with a song like this?? Listen to the words! Sissel also sings this song. It woulod have been amazing to hear them sing it together! RIP Your job here is done.

  13. Sharon’s avatar

    This was played at my Granddad’s funeral in 2004 and sitting listening to it here has had me close to tears again.

    Beautiful piece of music and what a voice Paul Robeson has.

    Although I don’t know you I admire you for singing this for your friend.

  14. Mardé’s avatar

    Thank you for your comment, Sharon. Yes, this a deep and haunting piece of music which seems so appropriate for memorializing the passing of a loved one. I’m glad you had a chance to listen to Paul Robeson sing it here. The music is so sad and yet so positive and hopeful.


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