1. Caledonia

From the recording Six Strings and Coffee Beans

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© Dougie MacLean

Mark Clavey – vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover – lead vocals
Rachel Gaither – vocals, fiddle
Phil Smillie – tinwhistle

It is Tullamore’s pleasure and privilege to have become a fixture at the two major Celtic festivals in Texas – the North Texas Irish Festival in Dallas, and the Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington. Their visits to these festivals are, without fail, made all the merrier by the presence of two dear Texas friends and fans, Aberdeen-lass Ros Shepherd and her Newcastle-born husband Paul. How this ordinarily looks is the band no sooner arrives onsite than Ros and Paul turn up and the pampering begins. After having become one of her favorites at the Texas Scottish Festival, Ros honored the band with the gracious invitation to come to her home in Houston and perform a house-concert there… on her birthday, an invitation they delightedly accepted. In a gesture of gratitude for that favor, and in honor of her birthday, the band took on arranging one of Ros’ favorite Scottish songs – Dougie MacLean’s Caledonia. This masterpiece was written by the Tannahill Weavers and Silly Wizard alum in 1979 while touring in Brittany, and has been around the world and back and recorded by scores of musicians along the way. Note – as the song is originally in waltz-time, the band took liberties with the lyrics to refit them into the common time arrangement performed here. (Do not rely on these lyrics as being “the real ones”.) Phil was gracious enough to contribute a whistle-track to the interlude.


I don't know if you can see the changes that have come over me, these last few days I've been afraid that I might drift away. I've been telling stories, singing songs that make me think about where I've come from. That's the reason why I seem so far away today.

Let me tell you. “I love you”, that I think of you all the time. Caledonia, you're calling me, now I'm going home. If I should become a stranger, that would make me more than sad. Caledonia's been everything I've ever had.

I have moved, I've kept on moving, proved the points I needed proving, lost the friends I needed losing, found others on the way. I’ve kissed the fellas and left them crying, stolen dreams, there's no denying I’ve traveled hard, my conscience flying somewhere with the wind.

Let me tell you, “I love you”, &c

Now I'm sitting here before the fire, the empty room, the forest choir. The flames have cooled, they won't get higher, they've withered, now they've gone. But I'm steady thinking, my way is clear, I know what I will do tomorrow - when hands have shaken, the kisses float, then I'll disappear.

Let me tell you, “I love you”, &c