I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen
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Barry Taylor

I'll Take You Home Kathleen is not, in fact, a tune of Irish origin. It was written in 1875 by Thomas Westendorf, a public school music teacher in Plainfield, Illinois, and was the first public performance of the tune was in Plainfield's town hall. Westendorf wrote the tune for his wife Jeanie, while she was visiting her home town of Ogdensburg, New York.

In 1876 it was one of two most popular songs in America - the other being Grandfather's Clock.

I'll take you home again, Kathleen
Across the ocean wild and wide
To where your heart has ever been
Since you were first my bonnie bride.
The roses all have left your cheek.
I've watched them fade away and die
Your voice is sad when e'er you speak
And tears bedim your loving eyes.

Oh! I will take you back, Kathleen
To where your heart will feel no pain
And when the fields are fresh and green
I'll take you to your home again!

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
Though many, many times I see
A dark'ning shadow on your brow.


To that dear home beyond the sea
My Kathleen shall again return.
And when thy old friends welcome thee
Thy loving heart will cease to yearn.
Where laughs the little silver stream
Beside your mother's humble cot
And brightest rays of sunshine gleam
There all your grief will be forgot.


Lyrics and Information From The American Song Treasury
See Bibliography for full information.