~Farewell To Caledonia~

By Catt Kingsgrave

Oh, bonny Scotland, I do not care to go.
I'll be flying off tomorrow with my heart stuck fast below
I've grown drunk upon your people, I've been sobered by your rain
I have breathed your brilliant Autumn, and I'll never be the same.

When the rolling mists of Stirling go to rest upon the ground
And time deserts the castle standing high above the town,
My heart will give a shiver, wherever I may stand,
For by this my soul is altered, greater far than I had planned.
When I feel the sting of winter flying wet into my face,
To the waters of Loch Katerine my heart shall speed apace;
To the soaring of those mountains, and the silence of those glens
And the lilting voices asking; 'When will ye coom back agin?'

When the sun breaks through the heavens after days of gentle rain
I'll be thinking of Lake Mentieth, and the Priory again.
I will breathe the ancient grace that steeped from every stone and tree
And no matter where I'm bound, for that brief moment, I'll be free.
From Autumn's fire, the Trossachs will arise within my mind;
With their Hazel, Ash, and Rowan girded in with somber Pine.
I'll be dreaming of Loch Lomond with each flash of brilliant sky,
And although I leave tomorrow, I will never say goodbye.

Oh, bonny Scotland, do not think that I am gone
Though I left October with you, in my heart, you linger on.
The blessing of your sun, and benediction of your rain,
And your people's lilting laughter swear I will come back again.


Another farewell song from me, though this one is a tribute to one of the most life-changing journeys I have ever taken. My husband and I went on our honeymoon five years after we'd been married -- couldn't afford to do it properly before that -- and we took two weeks in Scotland, staying in the village of Thornhill, which is just outside Stirling. That was my first trip outside the States, and between the countryside and the architecture, and the history, and the people, I felt twenty times bigger about the soul when I returned. Photos utterly failed to display the power of that country over me, and sadly this song fails as well, but it comes a little closer when sung, I think. Perhaps someday I'll record it.