2.11.2011

Caledonia

This post will end with me telling you about one of my most favorite musicians in the world, who I hope you will immediately listen to and fall in love with. But in order to do that, I need to give you a little back story.

Years ago (almost 12 years ago to be exact) I went to Scotland. My family roots are Scottish (among other things) and I met up with my dad and his wife to explore the country. Here's my dad and me in Edinburgh.

We could trace our family to two different clans, Grant and Menzies. My maiden name derives from the Menzies clan, so I was super-excited to walk the halls of Castle Menzies. (Sorry for the glare on the glass in the photo below, but you get the idea.)

I remember walking through Castle Menzies with a proprietary air, imagining my ancestors sleeping in the rooms and walking the halls. It wasn't until dinner that night that my dad broke the news: our ancestors weren't the ones to live in the castle. They were part of the clan, surely, but not at the top of the food chain, so to speak. Most likely they lived in a cottage somewhere on the clan lands. Here's a photo of my dad, explaining to me that, if the Castle Menzies was the big red napkin, then our family lived in the little white speck down the road.

Needless to say, this took me down a notch! However, it didn't diminish the distinct feeling of homecoming that I had when I went to Scotland. I've been there again since that first visit, and the feeling of home is the same each time. I don't know if it's a self-fulfilling prophecy or what, but there it is.

And now, on to the music. Have you ever heard of Dougie MacLean? That's pronounced Doo-gie Mac-Lean. He's Scottish. He's a folk singer-type. He's kind of like James Taylor but with even more of an acoustic, soothing thing going on. His music has the same effect on me as Vince Guaraldi and A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's calming and somehow makes me breathe a little slower when I listen to it.

Dougie MacLean wrote a song called "Caledonia" about Scotland, which is his home. (Caledonia is a somewhat more poetic name used for Scotland.) The lyrics are all about missing home. Going home. How home will take you, no matter what shape you're in or what you've done. Chances are that you treasure home, whether it's Scotland or somewhere else, as much as I do, or you wouldn't be here. I wonder if the song will speak to you the way it speaks to me?

Now, seriously, don't focus on the fact that Dougie MacLean looks a bit like an aging hippie here. Or that this video is cheesy. (It's the best version I could find on YouTube.) But if you end up falling in love with him like I did, may I recommend my favorite of his albums, called "Craigie Dhu." I hope it brings you a moment of peace this weekend!


Let me know what you think!


6 comments:

Christy said...

I like it! Thanks for sharing. I've heard the same tune sung by the Celtic Woman group. It is calming. Your back story was very cool! :)

Kristi said...

Now I'm going to have to check him out on iTunes! Thanks!

Erin said...

I'm a big fan of Dougie MacLean. I think you're the only person I've ever heard mention him. I actually saw him in concert in Sebastopol a few years ago! He's very good live -- keeps up an interesting patter between songs. Caledonia is one of my favorite songs of his.

Frugal Home Designs said...

Just Pandora'd him. Listening to him while making diner. Thanks for sharing.

Liz said...

Caledonia is one of my favourite songs about Scotland - makes me feel nostalgic ... and I live in Scotland! Frankie Miller also has a great version,
Liz

Crystal @ Ordinary Days said...

I have Scottish roots as well. Makes me wanna go!!