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  1. Welcome Home

From the recording Welcome Home

"Welcome home" is heard often at the Kerrville Folk Festival in the Texas hill country. It is the standard greeting to weary travelers arriving from all over the country to rejoin this ephemeral community for a few weeks every summer -- to recharge our emotional and creative batteries and reconnect with our extended folk family.

After years of living too far away to make the summer pilgrimage to Quiet Valley Ranch I took my wife and young children to Kerrville and arrived in the small hours of the morning after driving all night. The first words spoken to us were "welcome home, man".

After a week there I wrote this song on the way back home, and it has found its place in more settings than Kerrville -- including being chosen as the official theme song of the Albuquerque Folk Festival in New Mexico.

Lyrics

WELCOME HOME

You wear the look of hard traveling
Where has the year taken you?
I see we've all made our way back again
Where our spirits are made new

We gather here to share this time
From all life's many walks
To share the music, to share our songs
To sit alone and talk

Welcome home, welcome home
Wherever you may travel, anywhere you roam
You are never all alone
Welcome home

Whether you've never been here before
Or come back thirty times
You are a part of all our lives
Your family's part of mine

The way you write the things you feel
The way you sing your songs
The way your message helps me teach
My children right from wrong

Welcome home, welcome home
Wherever you may travel, anywhere you roam
You are never all alone
Welcome home

You're a teacher, a minister, a writer and a fan
A patron and a smiling volunteer
From the start you didn't hesitate to love me as I am
May the good Lord guide our steps and bring us
Safely back next year

Welcome home, welcome home
Wherever you may travel, anywhere you roam
You are never all alone
Welcome home

The world tries tearing all of us down
I read it in each face
That's why it means so much to have found
This special quiet place

We each have gifts we bring this world
Our own small light to shine
And the beam burns so much brighter
When we join your light and mine

Welcome home, welcome home
Wherever we may travel, anywhere we roam
We are never all alone
Welcome home