The story of HOME SWEET HOMEhas been told many times. There is nothing new to add, except to comment on the noteworthy, interesting, peculiar and puzzling fact that the author, John Howard Payne, seems to have been born in three different places on three different days, and to have died at three different times. The correct dates seem to be: b. June 9. 1791; d. April 9, 1852. The alternate dates, which are given as a matter of interest, are: b. April 1, 1791 and June 8, 1792; d. April 1 and April 10, 1852.
The author of this, the grandest song in the English language, was born either in New York City, East Hampton, Long Island, N. Y., or, as the invitations to his reinterment in Oak Cemetery, Washington, D. C. state, Boston. We do know that in Payne's early childhood his father lived in East Hampton, at the tip of Long Island--the home that inspired this noble song.
In early manhood, Payne became an actor and playwright, journeyed to Europe in 1813, and eventually found himself stranded in Paris. Fortunately, Charles Kemble, manager of the Covent Garden Theatre in London, commissioned him to adapt the French play CLARIinto an opera. CLARI, or THE MAID OF MILAN was produced on May 8, 1823and the immortal HOME SWEET HOMEWas introduced in it. Payne's luck changed, and he was extremely successful for a while. But things went badly again, and he returned to the U. S. A.in 1832, subsisting on his journalistic income until he was appointed U. S. Minister to Tunis, where he died in 1852.
The music of HOME SWEET HOMEwas written by Henry Bishop, a prominent English composer, who was afterwards knighted for his contributions to the literature of music.
Every publisher at one time or other issued HOME SWEET HOME. We list the First American Edition, published by George Bacon, also some of the other early editions. On 3 pp., unless otherwise marked.