"Walking Far from Home" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
I was walking far from home
Where the names were not burned along the wall
Sour building high as heaven
But the door was so small, door was so small

I saw rainclouds, little babies
And a bridge that had tumbled to the ground
I saw sinners making music
And I dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound

I was walking far from home
But I carried your letters all the while
I saw lovers in a window
Whisper, "Warn me like time, warn me like time"

I saw sickness blooming fruit trees
I saw blood and a bit of it was mine
I saw children in a river
But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry

I was walking far from home
And I found your face mingled in the crowd
Saw a boat full of believers
Say, "I'm talking too loud, talking too loud"

I saw sunlight on the water
Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky
And a woman on a speed train
She was closing her eyes, closing her eyes

I saw flowers on a hillside
And a millionaire pissing on the lawn
Saw a prisoner take a pistol
And say, "Join me in song, join me in song"

Saw a car crash in the country
Where the prayers are like weeds along the road
I saw strangers stealing kisses
Giving only their clothes, only their clothes

Saw a white dog chase its tail
And a pair of hearts carved into a stone
I saw kindness and an angel
Crying, "Take me back home, take me back home"

Saw a highway, saw an ocean
I saw widows in the temple to the Lord
Naked dancers in the city
How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all

I saw loaded linen tables
And a motherless colt and it was gone
I saw hungry brothers waiting
With a radio on, radio on

I was walking far from home
Where the names are not burned along the wall
Saw a wet road form a circle
And it came like a call, came like a call

From the Lord


Lyrics submitted by smallwonderrobot, edited by etaylor339

"Walking Far From Home" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Walking Far from Home song meanings
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  • +4
    General CommentI love how alot of Sam Beam's songs have meaning, but ambiguous enough that everyone can find their own personal meaning in his songs.

    What I hear when I listen to it is a description of someone's life "flashing before their eyes". He's walking far from home, not quite in this life, nor in the next. He sees again things that he has seen. The last few lines stick with me particularly, because he speaks of a circular road. To me, it means that he finally realizes, after seeing all this, that life does not end - it continues on and on, and he hears the call from the lord and finally lets go of the life he was leaving and moves on to continue his being.
    YaySarahCon April 20, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGreat song. It reminds me a lot of "The Trapeze Swinger". Can't wait for the new album.
    scammaj12on November 29, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti may be wrong here, but i hear:

    i saw lovers in a window
    whisper, "want me like time, want me like time"


    either way when i heard the line i MAY or may not be hearing correctly, it made me melt, in a great way

    so pumped for the new album
    amnesiac618on November 30, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentFor me it sounds very post-apocalyptic, the whole song is littered with biblical references and the juxtaposition in lines like “I saw sunlight on the water,
    Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky” and “Saw a car crash in the country
    Where the prayers run like weeds along the road”, give an impression of a catastrophe, albeit one where there is still beauty in the world. Either way a truly beautiful song.
    GrizzlyGuyon January 29, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric Correctionthis is what I heard:


    I was walking far from home
    Where the names were not burned along the wall
    Saw a building high as heaven
    But the door was so small, door was so small
    I saw rainclouds, little babies
    And a bridge that had tumbled to the ground
    I saw sinners making music
    and I dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound
    I was walking far from home
    But I carried your letters all the while
    I saw lovers in a window
    Whisper "warn me like time, warn me like time"
    I saw sickness blooming fruit trees
    I saw blood and a bit of it was mine
    I saw children in a river
    But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry
    I was walking far from home
    And I found your face mingled in the crowd
    Saw a boat full of believers
    Sail off talking too loud, talking too loud
    I saw sunlight on the water
    Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky
    and woman on a speed train
    She was closing her eyes, closing her eyes
    I saw flowers on a hillside
    And a millionaire pissing on the lawn
    Saw a prisoner take a pistol
    And say "Join me in song, join me in song"
    Saw a car crash in the country
    Where the prayers run like weeds along the road
    I saw strangers stealing kisses
    Given only their clothes, only their clothes
    Saw a white dog chase its tail
    And a pair of hearts carved into a stone
    I saw kindness and an angel
    Crying, take me back home, take me back home
    Saw a highway, saw an ocean
    I saw widows in the temple to the Lord
    Naked dancers in the city
    How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all
    I saw loaded linen tables
    And a motherless coat then it was gone
    I saw hungry brothers waiting
    With a radio on, radio on
    I was walking far from home
    Where the names were not burned along the wall
    Saw a red road form a circle
    And it came like a call, came like a call
    From the lord
    haroldvonanusiiion November 30, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI was walking far from home
    And I found your face mingled in the crowd

    That's just... Amazing.
    FulanoTalon February 04, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI feel pretty certain that this song (and pretty much all his other songs too) should be enjoyed rather than interpreted. It has the feel of a stream of consciousness from Sam's memory. What separates this dude from most people is he sees the mundane events of daily life in terms of poetic imagery. If you try to figure out what experiences from his life he is describing you deprive yourself of the opportunity to let his words find their own way to relate to YOUR life. Sam's music is sticky, in the way that it sticks to my soul
    CrabMcNastyon March 05, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think there are a lot of references to death, but in a very peaceful, accepting way. I think the song covers loss, moving on and change. There are also comparisons between death and hope.

    "And a bridge that had tumbled to the ground"

    "I saw sickness, blooming fruit trees" - here shows the contrast between sickness and health

    "I saw blood and a bit of it was mine"

    "I saw children in a river
    But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry" - talking perhaps about poverty, and how they can't drink the dirty water so they die/get ill from thirst.

    "Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky" shows death in nature/animals

    "Saw an old woman on the speed train
    She was closing her eyes, closing her eyes" again, another reference to fear or death or moving on.

    "Saw a prisoner take a pistol
    And say, "Join me in song, join me in song""

    "Saw a car crash in the country"

    "I saw strangers stealing kisses" - last kisses before parting ways or in old age perhaps?"

    "I saw kindness and an angel
    Crying, "Take me back home, take me back home" - take me back home; to heaven or just back to earth
    CoeurDePirateon March 14, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationThis song definitely reminds me of Dylan's "It's A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall". It has the same lyrical structure and revolves around one chord progression. It could even be influenced or an homage. Although it does contain biblical references, I think a lot of them could be taken more literally or figuratively.

    It really seems to me like it's just about a man's experiences in a foreign (and probably poverty-ridden) land. My favorite lines?

    "Saw a prisoner take a pistol
    And say, 'Join me in song, join me in song' "

    "I saw hungry brothers waiting
    With a radio on, radio on."
    moomoo5000on March 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation"I was walking far from home
    Where the names were not burned along the walls"
    ---The Revelation uses imagery of the New Jerusalem having 12 foundations with the names of the 12 Apostles written on them, and 12 gates with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel written on them. Seems like an image of Sam's own personal spiritual journey of metaphorically leaving the Holy City.

    "Saw a building, high as Heaven
    But the door was so small, door was so small"
    ---"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." -Jesus, Matthew 7:13. This could be Sam expressing what the church, or at least church culture, looks like from the outside--a big city with tiny gates. Jesus criticized the religious leaders of His day because they "taught as doctrine the commandments of men" and because of that they "neither entered into the Kingdom of God nor allow(ed) those who would do so to enter."

    ...
    "I saw sinners making music
    And I dreamt of that sound, dreamt of that sound"
    ---If we go with the idea of this narrative of someone leaving this "Holy City" that represents restrictive church culture, Sam's hearing the music of the world and being enthralled by it. It could be that these 'sinners' are people who were classified as sinners by those in the Holy City and refused entry, yet their music is so beautiful.

    "I was walking far from home
    But I carried your letters all along"
    ---Many Evangelicals like to refer to the Bible as a letter from God to man. Most of the New Testament is a collection of letters written to early churches by the Apostles. Sam was walking far from home, but he was still holding onto God in his heart, even though he was out in the world that those in the Holy City separated themselves from.

    "I saw lovers in a window
    Whisper want me like time, want me like time"
    ---Sam sees people searching for one of our most fundamental desires and needs, love, and finding it in each other, in whatever flawed form it takes.

    "I saw sickness bloom in fruit trees
    I saw blood and a bit of it was mine"
    ---Jesus often compares believers to trees who bear fruit, good or bad. "Bad fruit does not come from good trees, nor good fruit from bad trees." Sam could be for the first time seeing flaws in the people of the Holy City who would personify themselves as good trees. As for the blood, it's pretty simple that nobody makes it out of life without some wounds, and Sam at this point has left the sterile environment he was used to.

    "I saw children in the river
    But their lips were still dry, lips were still dry"
    ----"Children"---Jesus loved children, and He said to His disciples, "unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore anyone who humbles himself like a child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." "River"---Jesus said "Whoever believes in me, as the Scriptures say, 'Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water."
    I define those terms to explain my interpretation. These children are in the river, which perhaps means they're under the influence of their own Christian families and role models, yet their lips are still dry. Jesus was speaking to a woman at a well outside her city in Samaria--He was, in a way, 'walking far from home' Himself--and He told her, "Whoever drinks of this water will soon be thirsty, but whoever drinks of the water I give them will never be thirsty again." If these kids were drinking of the living water that Jesus gave, they'd never be thirsty again, but their lips are dry. This means Sam sees these kids who are suffering because of the emptiness of their parents.

    "I was walking far from home
    And I found your face mingled in the crowd"
    ---Walking through the world and being acquainted with all these people, though they're all flawed and imperfect, he still finds God in their midst. Jesus said "The kingdom of God is not coming in ways that can be observed, nor will they say, 'Look, here it is!' or, 'Look over there!'; for, behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst." He's everywhere if we want to find Him. Jesus didn't spend hardly any time with religious people or in temples or synagogues, He ate with publicans, prostitutes, drunks, and sinners, which got Him criticized by the religious leaders of His time, and it likely got Sam criticized as well.

    "Saw a boat-full of believers
    Sail off talking too loud, talking too loud"
    ---Out there in the world, Sam finds believers who aren't perfect, they're too loud, but they're in boats talking loudly together. They're loving each other, which Jesus said the whole world would recognize His followers for.

    "I saw sunlight on the water
    Saw a bird fall like a hammer from the sky "
    ---Jesus said He saw Satan fall like lightning from Heaven. After this, the lyrics take a darker turn to show greed, chaos, disaster, despair, but there are still glimmers of light. Seeing as all this happens when the bird falls from the sky, we can assume these things are directly related, and Sam's trying to make a point that evil isn't from God's hand. Things look up when the angel cries out "Take me back home, take me back home," and we come to this imagery:

    ...
    "Saw a highway, saw an ocean
    I saw widows in the temple of the Lord"
    ---Once Jesus was in a temple and He saw the rich people and the Pharisees making extravagant offerings and gifts on the altar, but He saw one poor widow place a single copper coin in the offering plate. He observed, "This woman has truly given more than any of the others." Sam could be making the point that Jesus was making, it's not about extravagance or making a show, it's about the sincerity of the gift.

    "Naked dancers in the city
    How they spoke for us all, spoke for us all"
    ---In the Old Testament, King David was bringing the Ark of the Covenant which represented the presence of God on earth back to Jersualem. He lead the whole city in worship in the form of dancing; he himself wore an ephod which wasn't very modest at all and danced his heart out. When he got home, his wife jumped onto him and said basically, "You've made a fool of yourself and showed yourself to all the women in town." His reply was, to sum it up, "I'm just getting started making a fool of myself. You're gonna think I'm a pure heathen by the time it's over with." A whole lot of churches are critical about the way we choose to worship. More pointless man-made laws. Again, it's not about extravagance or looking good, it's about sincerity.

    "I saw loaded linen tables
    And a motherless colt then it was gone"
    ---Jesus' last stretch of work was a week in Jerusalem. He fulfilled an ancient prophecy by entering the Eastern Gate on a donkey, or a colt. He'd sent His disciples to get it from a house on the road, and He said that if anyone asked what they wanted with it, to tell them, "The Lord has need of it." The loaded linen tables refer to traditional artistic imagery of the Last Supper which happened in Jerusalem. Sam's purpose could be another way of illustrating willing surrender in contrast to that Holy City mentality.

    "I saw hungry brothers waiting
    With the radio on, radio on"
    ---The disciples arrived to their private Passover feast, and they didn't start until He arrived, as was traditional not to begin without their master/teacher. They likely sang songs or cut up to pass the time. Sam could be trying to paint a picture evocative of the humanity of Jesus and the Apostles, rather than the sterile imagery we see too often from the "Holy City."

    "I was walking far from home
    Where the names were not burned along the wall
    Saw a wet road form a circle
    And it came like a call, came like a call from the Lord"
    ---After taking this dirty road from the Holy City all the way through the world, Sam comes back home when the Lord calls him. Maybe he left because of disillusion with the people, maybe he ran from God Himself, but it's clear that Sam found Him in the end, and He doesn't look like what he was used to picturing when he thought of Him.
    BloodTestimonyon September 12, 2014   Link

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