Stephen Stone
A Song for Independence Day: ‘Have You Been To My Hometown?’
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By Stephen Stone
June 9, 2024

About ten years ago, I took my favorite traditional Irish tune, Gaftai Baile Bui, added lyrics, and turned it into an “Independence Day anthem” that spoke from an unapologetically Americanist viewpoint appropriate to the Fourth of July.

The song has been performed publicly only once—at a Daughters of the Utah Pioneers gathering that our oldest daughter was in charge of in 2015. On that occasion, the song was sung by a close friend of our family, Denis Sorenson, lead singer of the 1960s Capital Records folk group “The Three Ds,” which in the 60's consisted of Denis and his two highly talented associates, Duane Hiatt and Dick Davis.

When an opportunity came up for our family to help with a community “homecoming” in the farm area where we live in central Utah in mid-June, I updated the lyrics I had written ten years earlier and turned the song into a virtual “do-it-yourself primer” for homeschooling (in harmony with what we’ve done with all eight of our kids), but also potentially a veritable handbook for God-centered patriotism that describes the values that have “made and preserv’d us a nation” (to cite a key phrase in the last verse of the National Anthem).

The result is a song titled “Have You Been To My Hometown?” set to Gaftai Baile Bui, linked above. See the sheet music of the song here in the key of D, or here in the key of G—with the latest lyrics. (Note that the sheet music includes a half-dozen footnotes that clarify the meaning of some of the lyrics. Also included among the notes is a suggestion for how to perform the song in a way that lets listeners hear a brief clip of the Chieftain’s recording of Gaftai Baile Bui at the end as a hint of its musical origins.)

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Stephen Stone

Stephen Stone is the President and Editor of RenewAmerica – a conservative media site dedicated to restoring respect for America's founding principles.

This purpose includes not only respect for the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as written, but for the Creator and His laws.

From the time he was a teenager, Stephen has considered himself a born-again Christian, in the biblical tradition. Since then, he has devoted his life to pursuing life's questions and challenges through seeking to know the mind and will of God, and through seeking the sanctifying influence of His Spirit.

As a result, Steve has become somewhat of a religious philosopher – one committed to approaching the truth of any subject by the clear standards of God's Word.

His religious testimony can be found in "What does it mean to be converted to Jesus Christ," a position statement he wrote in 2013 for RenewAmerica.

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