One of the first songs I ever wrote, “Call It Home,” still rings true for me all these years later – in some ways, more so than it did at the ripe old age of 19. It’s about looking back on the summers spent on Hornby Island, when, along with my brother, cousins, and friends, we would play for hours outside: fly kites, sail, fish, swim, ride bicycles, and have beach fires on warm summer nights, where we’d peer up at the starry skies.
Final Night of Vacation, 1962
George, Nancy, Robert and John are sitting on a log at the end of Shingle Spit, Hornby Island, BC
John looking out of Lambert Channel
John McLachlan in 1970 looking out on Lambert Channel from Hornby Island, BC.
Robert McLachlan and Friend at Shingle Spit
Robert McLachlan (in boat) and friend on raft off Shingle Spit, Hornby Island, in 1964.
John McLachlan’s Birthday Cake
John eyes his birthday cake through the window of Cabin 5 on Hornby Island, BC in 1964
Rob flying the pirate flag
Robert McLachlan walking on Shingle Spit with a black flag in about 1962.
I remember riding my bicycle on summer days, and quietly singing favourite songs softly to myself, such as Gordon Lightfoot’s “Brave Mountaineers,” and “Christian Island.” When I hear these songs now they take me back to these golden days when summer stretched out before me, and time seemed endless.
When I wrote this song, I was being nostalgic for something that had passed, but as I’ve aged it’s less nostalgia, and more one of gratitude for the fortune of having these experiences that would last in my memory for my whole life.
Call It Home
Call it home, call it heaven, rain begins to fall
I look out on the ocean, I hear the seagull call
Sounds take my mind to the years that have gone by
Songs fill my heart with a warmth inside
Call it home, call it heaven, this feeling leads me there
Rain on the window tells me how much I care
Soon I’ll be home, where once again I’ll live
It’s my heaven on earth and the memories are a gift
Call it home, call it heaven, all the memories let me fly
Through the summer afternoons on the country roads I’d ride
When the evening came I’d be back home again
Not knowing that the days would ever end
So here I sit all alone, music gently plays
A familiar voice takes me back to my younger days
Sometimes I sense a feeling of despair
Knowing that the years have all disappeared
© John McLachlan (SOCAN)