WUMB October Program Guide


jritAs I sit here shoveling down hot oatmeal on a cold evening, that duality about the cold comes to mind.  There is the shivering chill that makes you pile on another coat in the house (while also living in fear of the heating bill).  Then you have the outside cold air we call “crisp,” which feels invigorating.  Sometimes that invigoration brings out a pro-active sensibility in us.  Call it the excitement or adventure of coming change.  That could be something as simple as the change of season.  Or as profound as a major change you’ve been building towards (a move, new job, marriage, new purchase…).  Like Bilbo Baggins suddenly feeling the flame of adventure well up inside him as he leaves The Shire in The Hobbit, that “invigorating” crisp air can encourage us to embrace life’s ventures more…proactively.

Of course, I could probably put this better if I were, say, a good songwriter.  And as we take your votes for WUMB’s Album Of the Year (up to December 15th), that leads me to one of my Songs Of the Year.

Put all those things about the invigorating crisp Fall and Winter air together with the intermittent longing for home that comes out more during the “holiday season” – especially if you live far from where you grew up – and you pretty much have the first verse of Josh Ritter’s new song Homecoming:

I feel a change in the weather/I feel a change in me
The days are getting shorter and the birds begin to leave
Even me, yes, yes, y’all, who’s been so long alone
I’m headed home
Headed home.

The notion of “Homecoming” in college or high school never affected me so profoundly.  Of course, I had not been away from home much by then.

Then again, there is the added impact of music and vocal phrasing when you hear a song.  And when you hear a piece of music in an environment where it is just you and the song, it will have a greater impact than if you hear it while walking through a shopping mall.  When you are alone with your headphones – or driving alone with your thoughts in the cool crisp weather when this song comes on – it can really get inside you.  And if you relate at all to the lyrics, combined with the musical atmosphere Josh Ritter weaves, Homecoming will be yours…in whatever way it impacts you personally.  That’s regardless of how the song speaks to me, or of what actually may have inspired Josh Ritter to write it.  But I think you will feel that Homecoming truly does hit Home.

You can hear the other verses of Homecoming on Josh Ritter’s 2015 album Sermon On The Rocks.


I’m Perry Persoff.  Thanks for helping us have a radio station where you can hear music like this, and hear multiple cuts from an album if they warrant it.  Happy Holidays to you and yours.

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