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Return Me

by Emily Barker

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The meaning of "home" is a recurring theme in my songwriting. I found myself writing about it again in the midst of what felt like a watershed moment last year when the world's media turned its attention to the climate crisis.

I started, once again, to ask myself if it is time at last to return to my first home – by the Blackwood River where I grew up and where my family still live. It's a question that seems to have no answer, despite the number of songs I have dedicated to it.

This year everyone's life has taken another, unexpected existential turn – I've talked to friends who have found themselves asking similar questions and perhaps struggling to put a finger on where that safe place is that they would return to if they could.

For me, it's not just a physical place, it's also a moment in time – ‘home’ is my childhood: naïve and splashing in the river after school on hot, summer afternoons where crickets clicked a casual tempo and life felt immortal. I feel incredibly fortunate to have those memories, like a luxurious soft blanket I can wrap myself in when the worries mount up.

I hope you are safe and well, and that this song can give you pause for thought and help connect you with your own safe place, wherever that may be.


(words: Emily Barker; music: Emily Barker and Ted Barnes)

Return me to where my eyes first glimpsed
Sun-kissed folds of your Blackwood lips
I’ve been gone so long
Time is moving on

Come with me to another land
Our skin can thin together hand in hand
I’ve been gone so long
Tell me will you come?

The hues of your summer haunt my way
I feel the path we’ve known begin to stray

Chosen journey many selves ago
Turned to me with a mind of its own
Am I following?
Knowing where I’ve been?

I’ve loved this movement every coast to coast
Fell for others but I love you most
I’ve been gone so long
Tell me will you come?

The hues of your summer haunt my way
I feel the path we’ve known begin to stray

So come with me to another shore
We can learn a new way to mourn
Are you following?
Knowing where you’ve been?


released June 5, 2020


all rights reserved



Emily Barker UK

Emily Barker is the award-winning songwriter and performer of the theme to BBC TV’s Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh. Her music is an indie blend of influences from alt-country to folk via 60s pop, with comparisons ranging from PJ Harvey to Joni Mitchell. ... more

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