‘Home! Sweet Home!’
It may come as a surprise that the expression ‘home, sweet home’ originates from a song title.
One of the most popular songs in the English-speaking world in the 19th century, ‘Home! Sweet Home!’ is from the opera Clari, or the Maid of Milan (first published in 1823). With words by American John Howard Payne (1791–1852) and music by Englishman Henry Rowley Bishop (1787–1856), this tune was heard drifting from homes and concert stages across Australia, Britain and the United States over many decades.
The song was made particularly famous in Australia by visiting English opera diva Anna Bishop (1810–1884), the composer’s estranged wife, who caused a stir when she arrived in Australia in 1856 for a series of concerts in which she featured with her lover, Napoleon’s former harpist, Nicolas-Charles Bochsa.
Watch the performance
Listen to Amy Moore perform ‘Home! Sweet Home!’ And then have a go yourself! We have added other versions to inspire you further.
This video was recorded at home in 2020 during a COVID-19 lockdown.
Supported by: City of Sydney
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Romanticised themes of antiquated English traditions continued to feature in songs popular in Australia in the mid-nineteenth century
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