CALEDONIA

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

CALEDONIA

 

“Caledonia” is a modern Scottish folk ballad written by Dougie MacLean in 1977. The chorus of the song features the lyric “Caledonia, you’re calling me, and now I’m going home”,[2] the term “Caledonia” itself being a Latin word for Scotland. The song became the most popular of all MacLean’s recordings and something of an anthem for Scotland. “Caledonia” has been covered by a great number of artists.

MacLean wrote the song in less than 10 minutes on a beach in Brittany, 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.” He adds: “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.” The song is very similar in its sentiments to a much earlier song called “Jean and Caledonia”.

 

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

 

[Chorus]

Oh, and let me tell you that I love you

That I think about you all the time

Caledonia you’re calling me

And now I’m going home

If I should become a stranger

You know that it would make me more than sad

Caledonia’s been everything

I’ve ever had

 

Oh and I have moved and I’ve kept on moving

Proved the points that I needed proving

Lost the friends that I needed losing

Found others on the way

Oh and I have tried and kept on trying

Stolen dreams yes there’s no denying

I have traveled far with conscience flying

Somewhere with the wind

 

[Chorus]

 

Now I’m sitting here before the fire

The empty room, the forest choir

The flames that could not 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 are shaken and the kisses flow

Then I will disappear

 

[Chorus]