Home on the Range Song Lyrics: Classic Western Folk Tune

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Home on the Range Song Lyrics: A Good Ol’ Western Classic

Oh, give me a home where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Home, home on the range
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

How often at night when the heavens are bright
With the light from the glittering stars
Have I stood here amazed and asked as I gazed
If their glory exceeds that of ours?

Oh, give me a land where the bright diamond sand
Flows leisurely down to the stream
Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along
Like a maid in a heavenly dream

Home, where the deer and the antelope play
Where the seldom is heard a discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day


As a dad who loves cheesy jokes and campfire singalongs, few tunes bring back fonder memories of my own childhood than “Home On the Range.” There’s just something about those laidback cowboy lyrics and catchy melody that transports me right back to those carefree summer nights under the stars.


When we’d all gather around the fire, roast some s’mores and my Aunt would pull out her trusty six-string to lead us in a few familiar folk songs. Our favorite by far was always belting out “Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam” at the top of our lungs (much to Mom’s amusement).

While it may not be as rowdy and rip-roaring as some cowboy ballads, Home on the Range perfectly captures the spirit and freedom of the old American West. And it remains a wholesome throwback that kids and parents alike enjoy singing together.

So let’s dust off that ten gallon hat and mosey on back to the origins of this classic campfire ditty, shall we?

Origins and Meaning of Home on the Range

The story behind this ode to the wide open range is as American as apple pie. Or in this case, as American as buffalo roaming free on the prairie.

The lyrics of Home on the Range first came from the pen of Dr. Brewster Higley, a homesteading doctor living way out in Kansas in the 1870s. Legend has it the good doc was inspired by the scenic view of the plains and scribbled the poem on a scrap of paper in just 30 minutes flat!

He brought it to a local man named Dan Kelley, who paired the words with music, and the rest is history. It was published in 1905 as “My Western Home” before settling on the now classic title.

With lines like “where seldom is heard a discouraging word” and imagery of pure mountain air, the song captures the pioneers’ dreams of wide open skies and untouched land. Trading crowded cities back east for a patch of the frontier they could call their own.

At its heart, Home on the Range romanticizes the simple life in harmony with nature and the peaceful comforts of having a place to call home. Whether home was a little cabin on the Kansas plains or a covered wagon on the Oregon Trail, it spoke to that pioneer spirit.

And even today, those universal themes still resonate strongly with listeners. As does the laidback, folksy vibe it evokes of times gone by.

Fun Facts

  • In 1947, it became the official state song of Kansas, where it originated. Fitting for a tune born and bred on the plains!
  • Rumor has it the song was one of FDR’s favorites, and was played at his memorial service upon his passing.
  • Boy Scouts have been belting out this classic around campfires since it appeared in their songbooks back in the 1920s.
  • One legend claims ol’ Doc Higley paid for his Kansas homestead with buffalo teeth! My, how the times have changed.
  • While the familiar melody is tied to “Home on the Range,” there’s some historical debate over whether Higley or Kelley came up with the tune.
  • And for a laugh, check out the 1948 Disney short “Melody Time” where cacti bring the tune to life! My kids got a real kick out of that one.


There you have it partners—the story behind this timeless tune celebrating the good ‘ol cowboy days. With its laidback vibe and poetic lyrics, “Home on the Range” transports us back to those wide open plains of yesteryear.

While homesteading buffalo may be hard to find these days, the song’s themes of freedom, family and finding beauty in nature remain as relevant as ever.

For this sentimental dad, few things beat gathering the kids around a crackling campfire to share these classic tunes, just like my old man did for me. The memories made will last long as the embers glow.

Got any favorite moments tied to these nostalgic cowboy ballads? Share your stories below and let’s reminisce together! And for more musical family fun, mosey on over to my full list of childhood singalongs at thecornydad.com. Happy trails partners!

Hey there! I'm Allen, but you can call me "The Corny Dad" from Canada. I have a wife and four kiddos. Yep, one's full grown, but they'll always be my babies. When I'm not doing something with my family or playing video games, I'm here, jotting down my bits of wisdom on this blog. From the fun stuff to the parenting chaos, I cover it all. Believe me, with the right attitude, parenting's a smoother ride and I'm here to help.

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