Saturday, August 04, 2012

When a Place Calls Your Name

Have you ever experienced an intense longing to visit some particular place? Maybe  somewhere you've lived before, somewhere you've visited, or even somewhere you've never been except in your imagination?

I've had occasional longings to return to the Missouri hometown of my childhood and have made that trip a couple of times. Last spring the Smoky Mountains were tugging at my heartstrings, so much so that I went on a binge of reading books set in those mountains. Call it coincidence or call it fate, but right in the middle of that book binge, my sister Judy called and invited me to go on vacation with her--to the Smokies. It's been almost a year since we fulfilled that wonderful dream.

Also, for as long as I can remember, I've imagined myself being in Ireland. Knowing I'll probably never get there, I attempt to satisfy that urge by listening to Irish music and watching step-dancing videos when I get the chance. It hasn't escaped my attention that the roots of bluegrass, the  music of the Smoky Mountains, extend partly to Ireland. Who knows? Maybe those longings are in my blood, a connection to an Irish ancestor who settled in the Smokies. Or maybe (woo woo) it's even some kind of a past-life thing.

Donna, my stepsister, fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina when she visited there, and she speaks often of wanting to go back. Her love affair with Charleston is one of the reasons she wanted me to read the books mentioned in my last post. Having now read some of them, I understand the attraction that the low country holds for her.

I'm pretty sure most of us experience those geographical longings at some point in our lifetimes. In fact, songwriters and musicians have been inspired to write about places they've been or wanted to be so many times that a Google search for "songs about places" turned up "about 370,000,000 results." So what do you think it is about a certain place that reaches out and grabs you and won't let go?

The reason this whole subject is on my mind is that lately I've been replaying one particular song over and over because I love the feelings it inspires. The places mentioned in the song don't hold any special meaning for me, but the sentiment of it touches me deeply. Listen and see what you think; it's this week's Saturday Song Selection:


The song is "Talk to Me of Mendocino" by Kate and Anna McGarrigle.
(Click here to read the lyrics.) 
Thanks to TempleBethShira for posting this video on YouTube.

1 comment:

  1. Mendocino is one of those places that calls my heart! Argentina too. Italy, Greece and Hungary because I've had some cherished friends from there...


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