Song of the Day #3,635: ‘I’ll Be Home’ – Harry Nilsson

Before I get to my random SOTD, let me wish a Happy Father’s Day to my dear father and to all fathers across the land.

Harry Nilsson was a moderately successful singer-songwriter with five studio albums under his belt in 1970, when he decided to record an album of songs written by Randy Newman.

At the time, Newman was a prolific writer of songs for other people but had released only one album — a major flop — under his own name. He was nothing close to a household name, which made Nilsson Sings Newman a bizarre detour for the ascendant Nilsson.

The album was a critical hit but a commercial disappointment. Its reputation has grown over the years, particularly as Randy Newman emerged as the more celebrated artist (Nilsson died of a heart attack in 1994 at age 52).

Today’s SOTD is a nice example of the sweet vocal treatment Nilsson brought to Newman’s tunes, although this live version of the track by Newman himself is just as lovely.

A few months after Nilsson Sings Newman‘s release, Newman delivered 12 Songs, his first masterpiece. The first of many.

[Verse 1]
I’ll be home
I’ll be home
When your nights are troubled
And you’re all alone
When you’re feelin’ down
And need some sympathy
And there’s no one else around
To keep you company
Remember, baby
You can always count on me

I’ll be home
I’ll be home
I’ll be home

[Verse 2]
I’ll be home (oh, yes he will!)
I’ll be home (leavin’ in the morning, yeah)
Wherever you may wander
And wherever you may roam
You come back
And I’ll be waiting here for you
‘Cause no one else will ever Iove you
The way I do
I’ll be here
To comfort you and see you through

I’ll be home
I’ll be home
I’ll be home

3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,635: ‘I’ll Be Home’ – Harry Nilsson

  1. Doug Clifton says:



  2. Dana Gallup says:

    A few months ago, we saw a local production about Nilsson, which was, well, odd.

    I would like to hear the rest of this album given that these are all Newman songs. However, Newman’s version of this song is better. The call and response added in verse 2 is particularly odd.

    The live version by Newman is lovely, as is the studio recording he put on his Little Criminals album:

  3. Ryozo says:

    I have a “Nilsson sings Newman” vinyl record and a CD. Also I have “Randy Newman/Live” and “Little Criminals” vinyl records and CDs.
    However, I noticed today I could not able to catch what the background vocalists were singing in Nilsson’s version.
    Thanks million for the posts!
    Well, a little bit strange addition indeed.
    BTW Randy Newman says “I wrote it for Mary Hopkin at Paul McCartney’s request” (from the booklet of “Guilty: 30 Years”)

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