On Saturday, October 13, the song “Home for A Rest” – popularized by Vancouver folk-rock band Spirit of the West – was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, during the 2018 Western Canadian Music Industry Awards, in Kelowna, B.C.
A simple song that humorously chronicles the perils of over-drinking, “Home For a Rest” has grown to become one of Canada’s most beloved party anthems.
When Spirit of the West’s John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly wrote “Home for a Rest” in 1989, it was just a throwaway Celtic tune about the Vancouver group’s booze-soaked tour of England. – At the insistence of producer Danny Greenspoon, the song wound up on the band’s 1990 album, Save This House.
Audiences soon embraced the song’s joyous spirit. “Home for Rest” became Spirit of the West’s signature song, and has since taken on a life of its own. It reached platinum record sales, and appeared on countless “best songs” lists. “Home for a Rest” has been covered by countless punk and folk bands, and even performed by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
When John Mann was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, Jim Cuddy, Sarah McLachlan, Alan Doyle, and others recorded an all-star tribute cover of the song at a 2017 benefit concert.
There to accept the award was the song’s co-composer Geoffrey Kelly, along with Spirit of the West’s Vince Ditrich and Matthew Harder.
“It’s an honour for the CSHF to celebrate John Mann and Geoffrey Kelly’s skilled songwriting and Spirit of the West’s amazing execution of this iconic song,” said Vanessa Thomas, Executive Director, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
“We wouldn’t all be here if it weren’t for songs” said Geoffrey Kelly. “I know this award would mean so much to John, because that’s how it all begins. At a kitchen table with a cup of tea, pencil, and blank piece of paper. A song is still the beating heart of the music world, and we’re honoured to accept this award here today.”
The induction culminated with a performance of “Home for A Rest” by B.C. based band Shred Kelly.