Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Song of the Day: Sara Lou - Caledonia (Dougie MacLean cover)

Dedicated to those of you of Scotch-Irish descent (you know who you are).

Here's a beautiful song by one of my favorite Irish singers.  Caught this live in Dublin on May 11, 2013 at Malloy's on Talbot Street.

Sara Lou - Caledonia

I wasn't familiar with the song before I heard it in Dublin.  I thought it might be some kind of old Irish folk song.  Shows what little I know.  Caledonia is apparently the name the Romans gave to Scotland way back in history.  The song is actually a cover of a Dougie MacLean song:

Dougie MacLean - Caledonia

From the Wikipedia page for Dougie MacLean:
The latter [Caledonia] has been covered by numerous popular singers and groups, and called Scotland's "unofficial national anthem."

And from the Wikipedia page for the song Caledonia:
Dougie wrote it in less than 10 minutes on a beach in France, feeling homesick for Scotland. He said: "I was in my early 20s and had been busking around with some Irish guys. I was genuinely homesick. I’d always lived in Perthshire. I played it to the guys when I got back to the youth hostel where we were staying and that was the final straw – we all went home the next day."
"It took about 10 minutes but sometimes that’s how songs happen. I’m still amazed at how much it has become part of common culture. There’s not a pub singer, busker or pipe band that doesn’t play it."

Lyrics here:
Music & Lyrics by Dougie MacLean. Published by Limetree Arts and Music
I don't know if you can see the changes that have come over me
In these last few days I've been afraid that I might drift away
So I've been telling old stories, singing songs that make me think about where I came from
And that's the reason why I seem so far away today

Ah but let me tell you that I love you and I think about you all the time
Caledonia you're calling me and now I'm going home
But if I should become a stranger you know that it would make me more than sad
Caledonia's been everything I've ever had

I have moved and kept on moving proved the points that I needed proving
Lost the friends that I needed losing found others on the way
I have tried and I've kept on trying stolen dreams, yes there's no denying*
I have travelled hard, sometimes with conscience flying somewhere in the wind

Now I'm sitting here before the fire, the empty room, the forest choir
The flames that couldn't get any higher they've withered, now they've gone
But I'm steady thinking, my way is clear and I know what I will do tomorrow
When the hands have shaken and the kisses flow Oh I will disappear

  * Earlier lyric for this line was "I have kissed the ladies and left them crying"...Dougie changed the lyric for Frankie Millerwhen he released Caledonia as a single and feeling comfortable with the new lyric himself, carried on singing the new version!