A junkie walking through the twilight,
I’m on my way home,
I left three days ago,
But no one seems to know, I’m gone.
Home is where the hatred is,
Home is filled with pain,
And it might not be such a bad idea,
If I never, never went home again.
~ Gil Scott Heron
The open lyrics of this beautifully written and haunting melodious song was originally recorded by Gil Scott-Heron in 1971. The song depicts the journey of a heroin addict’s, inability to permanently halt usage. It’s a relevant, timeless classic to a continuous struggle in American culture. In 2016, experts claim to have seen a spike in overdose deaths across the U.S. due to an incline in over-the-counter painkillers and heroin. Additionally, heaviest inclines seems to be within the Appalachian and Southwest portions of the United States.
The increase of heroin deaths are starkly similar to that of HIV peak levels, according to the Center For Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, the death tolls reached a new peak, 47,055 people; the equivalent of approximately 125 people every day.
What used to be an urban problem with HIV diagnosed through intravenous heroin usage, has now become a problem in all areas. But now an epidemic in rural areas as well.
Home is where I live inside my white powder dreams,
Home was once an empty vacuum that’s filled now with my silent screams,
Home is where the needle marks,try to heal my broken heart,
And it might not be such a bad idea if I never,
If I never went home again
The song,“Home Is Where The Hatred Is,” which reflects heroin addiction, was initially sung by Gil Scott-Heron, for his 1971 album, Pieces of a Man. However, it was Esther Phillips version, on her album, From A Whisper To A Scream, that made the song a major hit.
Stand as far away from me as you can, and ask me why
Hang on to your rosary beads
Close your eyes to watch me die,
You keep saying, kick it, quit it, kick it, quit it
Lawd, but did you ever try,
To turn your sick soul inside out,
So that the world, so that the world
Can watch you die…
~ Esther Phillips
The poignant lyrics and equally powerful vocals could be inductive, of Esther Phillips own heroin addiction. Which, unfortunately would lead to her own demise and untimely death on August 7, 1984. Esther Phillips died from kidney and liver failure from years of previous heroin abuse. Born Esther Mae Jones, she leaves her legacy embodiment of timeless and highly regarded music; for generations to explore.