donegal

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.

(more…)