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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Welcome to our site! We're a Toronto-based filk trio consisting of Allison Durno, Jodi Krangle and Debbie Ridpath Ohi and have performed concerts in Germany, England, Canada and the U.S. Our songs have aired on national radio. 2013 will mark our twentieth year together as a group and as cool is that?

We have won four Pegasus Awards including two for Best Performer, two for songs ("The Lady" and "My Jalapeno Man"), and were honoured to have been inducted into the Filk Hall Of Fame in 2011.

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« The Squirrels Are Taking Over | Main | Library Boy: lyrics & streaming audio »

Homecoming: lyrics (based on a Ray Bradbury short story)

Words & music by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

EXCITING NEWS! Sunnie Larsen is covering my song in her first solo album, "The Space Between Notes!" More info at

This song was based on one of my favourite Ray Bradbury short stories, "The Rocket Man" and was included on our Sushi And High Tea live concert CD. Of the songs I've written, this is one of my personal favourites. It's not just about the short story, you see -- it's about love and loss and family.

I've always been a huge Ray Bradbury fan. His autograph had a prominent page in my collection when I was a kid: 

You can hear "Homecoming" on my music group's live performance album. I'm playing the rhythm guitar part on this track, Allison Durno plays lead guitar bits and Jodi Krangle sings lead. Allison and I sing some backup during the chorus. You can also listen/see Errol Elumir do a cover of "Homecoming" on YouTube:

Even before I experienced family loss myself, I was deeply moved by this story and others by Ray Bradbury. His writing affected me in so many ways, and was a major factor in my own desire to be a writer.


Words & music by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

C(add 9)       D/F#          G/B           A7sus
===========    ===========   ===========   ===========
| | | | | |    | | | | | |   | | | | | |   | | | | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| | x | | |    x | | x | |   | x | | | |   | | x | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| x | | x |    | | | | x |   | | | | x |   | | | | x |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------
| | | | | |    | | | | | |   | | | | | |   | | | | | |
-----------    -----------   -----------   -----------

Intro:  D   Cadd9  G/B  A7sus

     D/F#                       Cadd9
My mother looks into the sky, I think she hears him coming
D/F#                         Cadd9
but the stars are blinding her so she cannot see
G/B                                    A7sus
"Help me keep him home this time," she says to me.
               D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
"He's coming home."

My father walks into the house, we laugh in his embrace
The scent of fire and stardust cling to his hands and face
Already we are wondering how long
Will he stay this time?

CHORUS (strummed):
D          Cadd9           G/B        A7sus A7
I hear the stars, they are calling tonight
C                 G/B
Listen, can't you hear them?
D          Cadd9           G/B        A7sus A7
I hear the stars, they are calling tonight
Calling me home
            D   Cadd9 G/B   A7sus
Calling me home.

He takes us to the carnival and swimming in the ocean
We picnic in the mountains, our faces to the sun
Each moment is a gift I take with me
A memory.

My father sits beside me, his laughter ringing true
"What's it like in space?" I ask as I always do
His eyes grow distant and he smiles, but mom...
she looks away.

Em           A          Cadd9
Before my father leaves, he takes me aside
    D        Cadd9        G/B               A
He says, "The next I come back, I won't be leaving
D         Cadd9          G/B              A
Tell your mother that I love you both and I am
        D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
coming home."


In the fading sunset, the message comes next day
His ship fell into the sun, a blaze of gold and gray
I try to tell Mom but she turns away...
             D    Cadd9  G/B  A7sus  D Cadd9  G/B  A7sus
and goes inside.

My mother looks into the sky, I think she hears him coming
but the stars are blinding her so she cannot see
The winds are cold, I hear them whisper to me
"He's coming home."

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