FOR ANYONE WHO EVER MISSED HOME

At various times I have spent months in a stretch or even a year away from home. Travelling is a wonderful thing – seeing how people do things in various places is endlessly interesting, but sometimes you feel it burn.

In the course of a year it won’t happen that often but it can be almost anything that starts the feeling. Maybe added up you feel it for a couple of weeks in a year. It usually goes away but it bites hard when it bites.

Something good could happen at home and you want to be sharing the experience because you know what it means to people at home and you want to be part of it, but you can’t.

Alternatively, something bad could happen at home and you want to be there to help if you can and you feel terrible because you know you can do almost nothing from where you are.

It can be something utterly random – there could be an incident in the street  and you wish one or other person you know is there with you because you know they would have loved it or you want to hear what they would say about it.

Sometimes it really does hurt.

I remember when ‘Letter from America’ by the proclaimers came out. It is a song Irish people love as well (you can see it being sung at the wedding in the film ‘The Commitments’)  because even though it mentions only Scottish place names it is a song about emigrating, and that is something the two countries know a lot about.

I also remember how much the thing the thing was ridiculed. I can’t find video evidence for this but I seem to remember Paula Yates being apoplectic about how such a thing could be at the top end of the charts and being incredibly snidey about it.

The reason a lot of people bought the song is that they know what it is about… she obviously didn’t…lyrics below..

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Broke off from my work the other day
I spent the evening thinking about
All the blood that flowed away
Across the ocean to the second chance
I wonder how it got on when it reached the promised land?

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
I’ve looked at the ocean
Tried hard to imagine
The way you felt the day you sailed
From Wester Ross to Nova Scotia
We should have held you
We should have told you
But you know our sense of timing
We always wait too long

When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Lochaber no more
Sutherland no more
Lewis no more
Skye no more
(3x)

I wonder my blood
Will you ever return
To help us kick the life back
To a dying mutual friend
Do we not love her?
Do we not say we love her?
Do we have to roam the world
To prove how much it hurts?
When you go will you send back
A letter from America?
Take a look up the railtrack
From Miami to Canada
Bathgate no more
Linwood no more
Methil no more
Irvine no more.
(3x)
Bathgate no more
Linwood no more
Methil no more
Lochaber no more.

and another for Scotland…

Michael McGrory from west Donegal
You came to Glasgow with nothing at all
You fought the landlord then the Africa Korps
When you came to Glasgow with nothing at all

Abraham Caplan from Vilnius you came
You were heading for New York but Leith’s where you’ve stayed
You built a great business which benefits all
Since you came to this land with nothing at all

In Scotland’s story I read that they came
The Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane
But so did the Irishman, Jew and Ukraine
They’re all Scotland’s Story and they’re all worth the same

Joseph D’Angelo dreams of the days
When Italian kids in the Grassmarket played
burned out his shop when the boys went to war
But auld Joe’s a big man and he forgave all

In Scotland’s story I’m told that they came
The Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane
But where’s all the Chinese and Indian names?
They’re in my lands story and they’re all worth the same

Christina McKay, I learned of your name
How you travelled south from Delny one day
You raised a whole family in one room they say
And the X on the line stands in place of your name

So in the old story I’ll bet that I came
From Gael and Pict and Angle and Dane
And a poor migrant girl who could not write her name
It’s a common old story but it’s mine just the same

All through the story the immigrants came
The Gael and the Pict, the Angle and Dane
From Pakistan, England and from the Ukraine
We’re all Scotland’s story and we’re all worth the same
Your Scotland’s story is worth just the same

4 comments

  1. Och, what a nice blast of Scottish music — thanks 🙂 I remember I saw the Proclaimers live when I was in high school here in Sydney. They were fun, stuff their detractors.

  2. I like them in small measure. They went to High School in Cupar with my brother. Apparently they were prize dweebs.

    I get nostalgic every now and again. I have been gone so long it is hard to remember how I felt. Australia really feels like home now.

    Although I have not been to a Nike factory, I met a lady who worked for Nike and was based in Singapore at the same time as me. She had some prize things to say about working conditions, but said it was not any better or worse anywhere in the region. The price competition was so intense that they were always considering other locations to manufacture. I spent quite a lot of time travelling around the region and saw some pretty appalling work conditions.

    Thanks for posting those videos.

  3. Pingback: proclaimers lyrics

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