‘Hearts and Homes’

House Music at Your House

Little-known today, composer and music publisher John Blockley (1800-1882) was well-represented in the drawing rooms of Sydney in the 19th century. His biggest hit in Australia was in the 1860s with his composition ‘Jessie’s Dream: The Story of the ‘Relief of Lucknow’’.

John Blockley’s ballads are loved and well-used pieces in the Rouse music collection, with many of the pages marked up with pencil additions and torn at the edges. Blockley’s sacred songs, for home performance on a Sunday, as well as some of these secular ballads are found both in bound volumes and as loose sheet music in the collection.

‘Hearts and Homes’ was a minor hit in Sydney for mezzo soprano Flora Harris (1832-1905), whose name features on an edition of the song published by local music firm Woolcott & Clarke. Songs in the Rouse Hill collection are often intimately connected to professional singers, like Flora, whose performances made these songs popular hits at the time. Examples of concert-related sheet music merchandise were found in the collections of many households. A volume of music belonging to Flora Harris’ sister, Haidee, can also be found in Sydney Living Museums' digital collection

Watch the performance

Listen to Nicole, and her father, special guest James Forsyth, perform ‘Hearts and Homes’. Dan Walker has prepared a song line and guitar chords to also help you along with your version. This is the only known recording of this song so you can help us share more versions with the world.

You can find links to the music and lyrics below and perform and share your own interpretation.

Listen to more examples

We can’t find a recording of the Rouse Hill family’s ‘Hearts and Homes’, but here are some examples of other artists who have used the title for their songs.


Share your musical or creative response

We invite you to share your response with us, and we’ll share the best responses across our website and social media. We want to highlight the ways in which music making at home is for everyone, by everyone – just as it has always been. The more ‘homely’ and amateur your recordings are, the better! 

Make your version in any style or format you like – perform it straight or turn it into blues, country, rap, hip-hop, slam poetry, K-pop, Bollywood or any other style; rearrange it for different instruments, voices or electronics; sing it, play it, dance it, write about it, photograph it or paint it. 

Share on Facebook or Instagram

Upload your video, or photo, picture, or written response of your response to your own Facebook or Instagram and tag us with @sydlivmus #SLMhousemusic
By tagging Sydney Living Museums on social media you agree for your work to be possibly shared across SLM’s website, Facebook or Instagram accounts. 

Share via Youtube or Soundcloud

Upload your recording to your own Youtube or Soundcloud and share with us by completing the below form and provide links to the recording. 

Please note: if submission is by someone aged under 16  years, a parent or guardian must complete the below form.

Share your version

Meet the performers

Nicole Forsyth

Project director for House Music at Your House, Nicole Forsyth, violist, loves storytelling through music, and the possibilities of old and new art telling stories across time.

Learn more about Nicole.

Lyrics

Hearts and Homes 

Hearts and Homes sweet words of pleasure,
Music breathing as ye fall.
Making each the others treasure,
Once divided losing all.

Homes ye may be high or lowly,
Hearts alone can make you holy.
Be the dwelling e’er so small,
Having love it boasteth all.

Hearts and Home sweet words of pleasure,
Music breathing as ye fall.
Making each the others treasure,
Once divided losing all.
Hearts and Homes, Hearts and Homes.

Hearts and Homes sweet words revealing all most good and fair to see,
Fitting shrines for purest feeling, 
Temples meet to bend the knee.
Infant hands bright garlands wreathing,
Happy voices incense breathing,
Emblems fair of realms above.

‘For love is Heav’n and Heav’n is love’.
Hearts and Home sweet words of pleasure,
Music breathing as ye fall.
Making each the others treasure,
Once divided losing all.
Hearts and Homes, Hearts and Homes.


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