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.

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.

John McLachlan playing guitar in 1979 on Hornby Island, British Columbia
John McLachlan playing guitar on Hornby Island, British Columbia in 1979

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

CHORUS

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

CHORUS

© John McLachlan (SOCAN)

Robert and John McLachlan watching Dad sail at Shingle Spit, Hornby Island, BC in 1963
Robert and John McLachlan watching Dad sail at Shingle Spit, Hornby Island, BC in 1963