22 thoughts on “John McDermott Lyrics: “The Dreamer” and “Bringin’ Buddy Home”

  1. Thanks for posting the lyrics to “Bringing Buddy Home.” I heard the song for the first time yesterday, standing in my living room, frozen by its power, with my eyes filling with tears. When it was rebroadcast today I tried to write down the words, but my hand wasn’t quick enough. So you have done me a great service.

  2. I was listening to NPR in the car Sunday while on the way to get gas. John McDermott was a guest on the Prairie Home Companion show and performed “Bring’ Buddy Home”. He told the live audience that he wanted to write about the unseen toll of war; the grief that follows the death of a loved one. My brother was my best buddy and he died in VietNam so, even tho about a different war, Mr McDermotts FABULOUS words were quite profound. The words of this exceptionally WELL DONE song hit McDermott’s goal taking me back to the worst days of my life; watching the plane land, the funeral and the absolute grief that shrouded my parents and I for months. I sat in my car at the gas pump for a while to dry the tears and regain my composure before I could let go of the steering wheel.

  3. I too was listening to Garrison Keiller’s ‘Prairie Home Companion yesterday and was moved by John McDermott’s rendition of his song “bringing buddy home”!

    John’s singing style, his song’s music and his words were so simple and straightforward that I was caught off guard and stopped what was doing – and, I believe, the song should be adopted as our military’s anthem for Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s fallen heros!

    Please tell John McDermott that he’s a genius to me!

  4. I too was listening to Garrison Keiller’s ‘Prairie Home Companion yesterday and was moved by John McDermott’s rendition of his song “bringing buddy home”!

    John’s singing style, his song’s music and his words were so simple and straightforward that I was caught off guard and stopped what was doing – and, I believe, the song should be adopted as our military’s anthem for Afghanistan’s and Iraq’s fallen heros!

    Please tell John McDermott that he’s a genius to me!

  5. Heard that same Prairie Home Companion show driving in the car, yesterday. The PTSD and suvivor’s guilt from Nam, 40 years ago, had tears in my eyes and that tight breathing in my chest. McDermott reached out like nothing since John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches” (first heard over the air on a PBS station broadcast years ago) with “Flyin’ Buddy Home”.

    Thanks, John. I needed to hear that.

  6. I too was listening on Sunday to NPR~ I was moved to tears, as I am from a Military family. My father is an 81 year old WWII vet who volunteers his time
    to providing (with other volunteers)the 21 gun slaute at veterans funerals.
    He partakes in a t least an average of three a week. The lyrics really hit home in that respect, especailly when I know my dads feelings as he last year ,presented the folded flag to the widow, of his buddy he served with on his ship, in WWII. This song needs to be brought into everyones lives.
    It really highlights the ultimate sacrifice, in serving this country.
    Thank you john Mc dermott for a wonderfully moving tribute.
    When I told my dad about the song, he went to his VFW post right away to ask the guys if they had heard of the song.
    Nancy Kaashagen

  7. I was at the live presentation of Prairie Home Companion on Saturday, March 21, and saw heard John McDermott sing both of these songs. I was blown away by the clarity of his voice and by the lyrics of both songs, “Bringing Buddy Home” in particular. I, too, am waiting for the release of the CD. And thanks to your post, I now know the name of that CD. A couple days later I the opportunity to watch the HBO movie “Taking Chance”, about a marine officer escorting a fallen soldier home. The song and the movie both made an emotional impact. Thanks to you for posting the lyrics.

  8. Read the words to “Bringing Buddy Home” todfay at church. Great way to remember the importance and meaning of Memorial Day. Does anyone have the chords to this song by John NcDermott??

    Bernie Ruekgauer

  9. Thanks for making these lyrics available. I am a retired Army Officer and a Deputy Sheriff in Georgia. I was at work when John McDermott sang this song on The Prairie Home Companion radio show. The song moved me to tears as I remembered the sad homecomings for fallen solders at
    nearby Fort Benning, Home of the Infantry, and one of the Army’s priemer training facilities. In the days to follow, I steered many of my fellow officers to the Prairie Home Companion website to hear the song, and wondered if this song would soon be played often at Fort Benning and posts around the world. It should be……as a salute to all who have given the utmost to keep us free. Thanks for the song Mr. McDermott.

  10. When I heard this song I’ve remembered about our soliders who didn’t return from war in Afganistan, I remembered how we grieves. I hope your brothers and sisters all come home alive.
    Thank you very much for this lyrics.
    Oleg Kovalev, Russia.

  11. I heard this song for the first time this morning on Canada AM, and I couldn’t help but cry for those brave men and women who give their lives to help a country to be free from tyranny. We are truly blessed to be in a country that, at least for now, has never endured the hardships that people in Afghanistan are suffering. With permission, I’d like to read the lyrics to a gathering to commemorate these brave souls who gave their lives through all the wars.

  12. I just listened to your sony “Bringin Buddy Home” for the first time. It was used on the CBC coverage for Remembrance Day in Ottawa. As a mom of a soldier that has been to Afghanistan it touched me so much. The tears came and that sadness. Thank you so much for writing this song and with your permission I will pass the lyrics on to many others.

    God Bless You. Thank You.

  13. I listen to the song last night from my house in Belgium, my son just came out of Afghanistan last week, I was in the Canadian Armed forces for 32 years and was moved by the song and video.

    Thank you.

  14. I too am looking for the chords for “Bringing Buddy Home”, for my husband (79) who is now learning to play the guitar.
    Lois S.

  15. When I heard the announcer on CTV yesterday morning say John McDermott’s name I ran to the t.v. and turned up the volume. I was in tears through the entirety of the song. I have three sons and cannot imagine losing one of them. Thank you Tish

  16. I just want to point out that both the song and the singer of ” Bringing Buddy Home ” are Canadian. John McDermit is from Toronto, and the song is dedicated to our Canadian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan since 2002.

    I know that the USA is a much larger country in terms of population, than Canada is, but could you please let us have this ONE song, as our own, and not appropriate it as yours ? It is a sore point with many of us, that our culture is smotherd by yours, on so many fronts.

    Here is the video that goes with the song. The images are provided by the Canadian Forces film unit, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’ s CBC tv news network. The scenes on the 401 highway in Ontario, are of ordinary Canadians , who come out each time a soldier is brought home, to be buried. The final journey is from CFB Trenton, to the coroner’s building in Toronto, a distance of 125 miles. There are 52 overpasses on the route and every one has people standing on it, to salute our heros. The funeral procession is escorted by Police, and the traffic is stopped, to allow the vehicles to move at a steady speed of 100 kph, all the way into the centre of the city of Toronto.

    click here to see the video. click widescreen, and turn ON your speakers.


    Jim B. Toronto. CWO 1, Canadian Forces, retired.

  17. I totally agree with the comments made by Jim B of Toronto. Although I am not completely offended by America changing the lyrics to “Old Glory” I am somewhat annoyed. It seems that the USA is so isolated and self centred that they are not aware of anyone else in the world than themselves. I have recently returned from Flanders in Belgium and France visiting WWI battlefields (particularly Canadian) and observed the result of the incredible sacrifice made by Canada and its brave young men. All of which I am sure America isn’t even remotely aware and if you did you would understand why we are somewhat offended as Jim B has expressed your “appropriation” of this fine work by a very talented Canadian.

  18. I just came across this site and was very touched by the messages posted.

    The CD Journeys was recorded in January of 2009, the song ” Bringing Buddy Home ” was recorded and written for all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice , for their families and all those they have been touched by these fallen heroes , there are 3 versions of the song available, recorded intentionally so….Canadian , American and International ( “when they fold up you Nations flag “), no one changed the lyrics .

    i use the CD Journeys to generate awareness , to support our troops , Canada Company and Fisher House Boston, both sites can be reached through http://www.johnmcdermott.

    John McDermott.

  19. John,

    I am using this website to contact you since I can’t find a contact method on your website (or just missed where it is).

    I was privileged to see you at Ottawa’s Centrepointe Theatre the past two Decembers and throuoghly enjoyed the show. As a veteran of 36.5 years in the Navy I was similarly moved by ‘Bringin Buddy Home’ and am glad you have pointed out that there are three versions of the song.

    I was Naval Attache in Washington, DC from 1999-2002 and attended a concert that you gave there for Homeless US Vets, which I thought was a nice touch for a CanAdian performer. (I also met you ata recdeption at the Canadian Embassy earlier that day). It was at the concert that I first heard ‘The Wall’ and recommended to PBS (by e-mail) that it be included in a future Memorial Day concert with you to sing it. (I am not sure if that has happened but, it should, since it was written by an American).

    One other comment, offered in the spirit of ‘polishing the apple’ and to honour many good grammar teachers I had in school. In the excellent song, ‘The Dreamer’ there is a grammatical error that I feel could be easily remedied. In the line, ‘..more doers and less dreamers’, the word ‘less’ is incorrect. For a plural noun, the word ‘fewer’ must be used. ( ‘more doing and less dreaming’ would be correct). Even if ‘fewer’ was pronunced to rhyme with ‘pure’ to keep the number of syllables the same, it would at least be gramatically-correct. Would the lyrics’ author be amenable to officially changing the words?

    Good luck and much success on the remainder of your current tour.


    Peter Hoes
    Ottawa, ON

  20. I heard this song on Maine Public Radio a few years ago and have been trying to learn it ever since. I am a singer in a small four piece band locally and we try to update our materiel from time to time. I am in hopes to get this one correctly by our next gig. We play for coffee houses to raise money for local organizations. We are fairly good and appreciate all artists.

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