Gonna take a sentimental journey
Gonna set my heart at ease
Gonna make a sentimental journey
To renew old memories
I got my bag, I got my reservation
Spent each dime I could afford
Like a child in wild anticipation
I long to hear that: "all aboard!"
Seven, that's the time we leave - at seven
I'll be waiting up for heaven
Counting every mile of railroad track - that moves me back
I never though my heart could be so yearny
Why did I decide to roam
Gotta take a sentimental journey
Sentimental journey home
- Writer(s): Arthur Green, Les Brown, Ben Homer
- Released: 2017
Les Brown and His Band of Renown had been performing the song, but were unable to record it because of the 1942–44 musicians' strike. When the strike ended, the band, with Doris Day as vocalist, had a hit record with the song, Day's first #1 hit, in 1945. The song's release coincided with the end of WWII in Europe and became the unofficial homecoming theme for many veterans. The recording was released by Columbia Records as catalog number 36769, with the flip side "Twilight Time". The record first reached the Billboard charts on March 29, 1945 and lasted 23 weeks on the chart, peaking at #1. The song actually reached the charts after the later-recorded "My Dreams Are Getting Better All the Time".
About this same time, the Merry Macs had a recording following Brown and Day which featured a bouncy arrangement where the group modulates (or augments) the verse eight times in the last half of the song. A vocal feat for any group attempting to record a song in one take without the benefit of tape editing in that era of modern recording.
Ben Homer (born Benjamin Hozer, 27 June 1917, Meriden, Connecticut – 12 February 1975, Los Angeles, California) was an American songwriter, composer and arranger. He joined the Meriden Symphony Orchestra when he was eleven years old, and wrote a class song at Jefferson Junior High School in 1932. He became a member of the American Federation of Musicians when he was fifteen. He later attended the New England Conservatory of Music on a scholarship, and returned there as a teacher in the 1940s.
He began his professional career by moving to New York City in 1938 and changing his name to Homer. He began composing for bandleader Les Brown in 1940, writing some material with lyricist Bud Green.
His most popular works are "Sentimental Journey" (1944), "Bizet Has His Day" (1945) (a jazz arrangement of Georges Bizet's "Farandole" from L’Arlésienne-Suite), "Shoot the Sherbet to Me Herbert" (1939), and "Joltin' Joe Di Maggio" (1941).
The song later became something of a standard with jazz artists and was recorded by, among others, Buck Clayton with Woody Herman and by Ben Sidran. Frank Sinatra recorded his version of the song in 1961. Rosemary Clooney issued an album Sentimental Journey (2001) which included the song. Harry James recorded a version in 1965 on his album New Versions Of Down Beat Favorites (MGM E-4265).